Stephen A. Smith giving $250,000 donation to alma mater

Stephen A. Smith giving $250,000 donation to alma mater
January 21
00:00 2016
Photo by Tevin Stinson
Stephen A. Smith delivers the keynote address during Winston-Salem State University’s first-ever Bond.Score.Win! Fundraiser Breakfast held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 16.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle 

When Stephen A. Smith talks, people tend to listen.

It was no different Saturday morning when the 1991 graduate of Winston-Salem State University returned to his alma mater to deliver the keynote address for the Bond.Score.Win! Fundraiser Breakfast.

The event was held at the Grand Ballroom Pavillon of the Embassy Suites Hotel and was designed to raise funds for the school’s athletic department.

During his speech, the outspoken sports TV personality and host of ESPN’s “First Take” said he would not be where he is today without the support and guidance of a number of professors and coaches he encountered during his tenure at WSSU. While studying mass communications, Smith played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Clarance Gaines.

“If it wasn’t for coaches like Coach Gaines and Timothy Grant, and professors like Larry Little and Marilyn Roseboro, I would not be where I am today,” Smith said.

Along with a speech that brought 300 Ram supporters and alumni to their feet, Smith also pledged to donate $250,000 to the school over the next five years. Each year the university will receive $50,000. The funds will be split between the athletic and mass communication departments.

Smith mentioned that he wants the funds to go to underprivileged students who must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

“We have to understand that there is a level of excellence that needs to be consistently pursued,” he continued.  “As a people, we have to be about the business of making sure our youth understand what true accountability is.”

In total, the fundraiser event raised $33,000 for the athletic department, not including the contribution from Smith. Chancellor Elwood Robinson thanked Smith and the many alumni in attendance for their donations. He mentioned the donations will help move the university into the future.

“It’s a great day to be a Ram,” he said. “With contributions from alumni like Stephen A. Smith and the many others here today, this University will continue to move toward the future.”


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