Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has donated $250,000 to the Johnson C. Smith University President’s Gap scholarship fund that helps students with college costs, the school announced Tuesday.
The scholarship was created in 2012 to close gaps students face between financial aid and tuition costs. Cameron Harris, a JCSU trustee and minority owner of the Panthers, helped secure the gift.
Richardson, the school said, was quick to respond when he heard of the need. His donation will help provide education, internships and employment opportunities for students who otherwise might have been shut out of a college education because their families can’t afford it.
“When it comes to paying college tuition, many families are left distressed, or have to leave their dreams behind altogether,” Richardson said in a statement. “Our hope is that this gift will help (JCSU) open doors for more families and continue to be a place that affects change in people through education.”
His donation comes at a time when some are questioning JCSU President Ron Carter’s leadership. A former trustee petitioned to have Carter removed as president.
Carter in a statement praised Richardson for his commitment to students.
“Mr. Richardson upholds JCSU’s mission as an independent urban university: To provide an outstanding education for talented and motivated students from diverse backgrounds,” Carter said. “His dedication to the students we educate ensures they will continue to smash the mold.”