A former UPS driver who dropped out of Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore nearly 60 years ago has pledged $20 million to the university — the largest donation ever made by a former student to a historically black university.
MSU alumnus and philanthropist Calvin E. Tyler Jr. was forced to give up his college education in 1963 because he could no longer afford to study. Now, along with wife Tina, Tyler will provide scholarships for low-income students struggling to pay for their education, MSU announced.
“My wife and I have become keenly aware of the effect that the pandemic has had on a number of young people trying to get an education and we have the resources to help them,” Tyler said. The donation will provide more full-tuition scholarships to students so that they can lead a debt-free life after graduation.
BIG NEWS: Morgan alumnus Calvin Tyler & his wife Tina have significantly enhanced their giving to the University, increasing their commitment to $20 million, the largest commitment in Morgan’s history from an alum ➡️ https://t.co/YHveZfszFn #MorganOnSocial #GrowingOurResources pic.twitter.com/VsWXqBtsA2
— Morgan State University (@MorganStateU) February 22, 2021
After quitting college, Tyler took a job as a United Parcel Service (UPS) driver in 1964. In his 34-year career at UPS, he rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming senior vice president of operations before his retirement in 1998.
However, Tyler and his wife, both Baltimore natives, never lost sight of their humble beginnings. The $20 million commitment is an effort to support students who, like Tyler, might miss out on a college education due to financial hardship.
The Tylers’ latest pledge follows their $5 million commitment in 2016. The funding assisted the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship created by the school in 2002, which provides tuition support for low-income students. To date, the endowment has supported 222 Morgan students with 46 full and 176 partial scholarships.
In light of the most recent hardships faced by students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tylers decided to expand their philanthropy to benefit more ‘Tyler Scholars.’
“Fulfillment of the Tylers’ $20 million pledge will be executed for years to come, ensuring an enduring support for Morgan students facing extenuating financial circumstances,” the school announced.
Tyler contends that student loan debt is a serious problem in the country and hopes to be able to help as many young people as possible. He hopes their gift will inspire other philanthropists to give back to their alma mater, especially those who graduated from historically black colleges.
The Tylers’ gift is the second largest private donation the Baltimore college has ever received — the largest being a $40 million donation last year from MacKenzie Scott.