reports that entrepreneur and Miles College alum, Dale Thornton has made a $500K donation to his alma mater.

Dale Thornton is the son of one of Alabama’s most successful entrepreneurs, Larry Thornton. His father is a gifted artist, author, speaker, and board member at major companies like Coca-Cola, and a franchisee of McDonald’s.

Larry opened his first McDonald’s franchise in 1992, teaching his son in the process by paying him $1 an hour for his time in the store. Dale followed in his father’s footsteps and opened his first McDonald’s franchise when he turned 25 making him the youngest franchise owner at the multi-billion dollar fast-food chain at the time. Now the two men collectively own seven McDonald’s franchises in the Birmingham area.

Dale is continuing to make history by submitting the largest donation by an alum in Miles College history.

Dale takes after his father who donated $1,000,000 to his alma mater, Alabama State in 2011, which was the largest donation by an alum in the institution’s history.

Dale is giving $500,000 to his alma mater and says he decided to donate publicly in hopes of inspiring other HBCU alums to do the same.

“I would’ve just donated anonymously,” Dale said. “But my goal is to get other Miles and HBCU alums to do something similar — maybe not the same amount. Look back at what Miles has given us. Many hands make light work. What if people gave $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, when they’re 40 or below, relatively healthy, not on too many medicines.”

“That’s how the University of Alabama, your predominantly white institutions do it — with endowments,” he said, according to “This is something we’re just not privy to. There’s nothing wrong with us. It’s just lack of education. If you don’t know, you don’t know. Imagine what we could do not just for Miles but for Alabama A&M, for Alabama State, for Morehouse. Because the HBCU is in trouble.”

“Hopefully, I can be a catalyst” He added.

He’s slated to publicly announce the news on Saturday morning, just ahead of the school’s homecoming game against Lane.