There are not many times a college leader will be left utterly speechless on any given occasion.
But that’s what Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson was after journalist and host of the ESPN show “First Take” Stephen A. Smith said he’s on board to helping to support his alma mater in the near future, pointing out how many black colleges are struggling financially.
Smith added, “…but I’m here to tell you they are needed in a big way,” reports the Winston-Salem Journal.
At a WSSU fund-raising breakfast on Saturday, the proud WSSU alum officially said he’s committed to giving $50,000 to the university for each of the next five years.
That’s a huge statement:
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Smith, a 1991 graduate and former sportswriter who started at the Winston-Salem Journal as a part-time clerk when he was in college.
WSSU officials said the breakfast raised $33,000. This was the first year the fundraiser was held.
In addition, Smith also thanks his time at WSSU and the black college experience for having an impact on his career, but also said we need to support our HBCUs as must as we can:
“A lot of HBCUs are hurting financially, but I’m here to tell you they are needed in a big way,” Smith said.
After hearing the news, Robinson said he was kind of speechless, and also said he and school officials had no idea about Smith’s contribution prior to the breakfast.
Robinson said, “It’s just a testament to what kind of individual Stephen A. is that he cares about his former school.”
He continued, “It’s a big day for us, and it’s a special day because, as you know, any amount of dollars we can acquire helps everybody.”