The Inspiring Stories Series: He Gave $20M to the College He Dropped Out Of

On February 22, Morgan State University announced a gift from former student Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina. The gift was a new $15 million pledge for scholarship funds – bringing his total giving to the school to $20 million. This would be an extraordinary event for any school, but this story is more than about the money.

Why? Because Tyler never graduated from Morgan State University. He was forced to drop out after one year because he could not afford tuition. 

After Tyler dropped out, he became one of the first drivers for UPS in Baltimore—the start of a journey where Tyler worked his way up and became the senior vice president of Operations. Upon his retirement from UPS, Tyler was asked to join the board of directors at UPS. Morgan State University said he never forgot where he started.

Tyler and his wife have been donating to Morgan State for years – they created the Calvin and Tina Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2002. In 2016, they donated $5 million to the school. But when the pandemic hit, the Tylers felt compelled to do more for students at the school who might be struggling financially. Hence the additional $15 million pledge. 

Students who receive the Calvin and Tina Endowed Scholarship Fund are called Tyler Scholars. The fund has supported 222 students by way of 46 full-tuition and 176 partial scholarships. The increased pledge promises to help support many more Tyler Scholars with tuition help.

This is a truly inspiring story for any of us whose dreams are interrupted due to financial or other circumstances out of our control. It’s a beautiful story about how personal responsibility and our free enterprise system make life-changing philanthropy possible. This new generation of Morgan State University Tyler Scholars are sure to go on to do great things.

Note: MacKenzie Scott donated $40 million to Morgan State University shortly before the Tylers’ new pledge.

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