A new $40,000 donation is allowing Prairie View A&M University to support both its men’s and women’s golf teams! Recently, the Cameron Champ Foundation and Chevron Corporation came together to establish the two new scholarship funds for student-athletes, and it’s a heartwarming story. Read PVAMU’s coverage of the great news below!
The donation follows the historic conclusion of the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters Tournament, where Augusta National honored Lee Elder, the first African American to compete in the tournament.
“When Lee Elder walked on the Augusta grounds,” stated professional golfer and founder of the Cameron Champ Foundation, Cameron Champ, “it sent a message: ‘We belong’.”
Inspired by Elder and Augusta National’s actions, the scholarship fund, established by the Cameron Champ Foundation and Chevron, will be named in memory of Cameron Champ’s grandfather, Mack “Pops” Champ. Mack Champ, an African American, taught Cameron Champ how to play golf and, like Elder, inspired his grandson and other minority golfers to pursue competitive golf.
“My grandfather had such an incredible influence on my life and always inspired me in many ways,” said Cameron Champ. “I’m so grateful for Pops introducing me to the game of golf, but also for teaching me that there’s so much more to life than golf. He always stressed the importance of giving back and paying it forward. Last week, Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley addressed how access and opportunities are still barriers to the game, and he hit the nail on the head when he said that the time to do more is now. That really sparked this idea, and I thought, what better way to honor PaPa Champ than to take up the challenge to do more, right now!”
The Cameron Foundation’s investment in PVAMU is a part of the foundation’s work to improve education and access to golf in underserved and underrepresented communities.
“We are incredibly grateful to partner with the Cameron Champ Foundation and Chevron to honor Cameron’s grandfather and help other young golfers who follow in their footsteps to realize their dreams,” stated PVAMU President Ruth J. Simmons. “With our Men’s Golf winning back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships, our golf program is among the best in the nation. This scholarship will be instrumental to our student-athletes as they achieve excellence in their education and sport.”
“Mack Champ was born in Columbus, Texas, in a segregated neighborhood with limited resources. His determination to fight against systemic racism and discrimination fuels our work,” stated Cameron Champ Foundation Board Chair, Glenn Weckerlin. “We recognize that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color and has placed a heavy burden on the university and its already stretched funding. We are thankful that we can collaborate with such a historic institution to provide deserving student-athletes from diverse backgrounds opportunities that they might not otherwise have. We are delighted to contribute to student dreams and hope our actions will inspire others to follow suit—the time is now.”