Morgan State University recently celebrated a 44-17 win over Savannah State University, bringing a week of Homecoming activities and events to a proper close. While parades, tailgates, and football tackles filled the minds of current students and alumni, the festivities also brought a much needed $50,000 donation from the Exelon Corporation to keep Morganites in the classroom.
“The Five Dollar Scholarship Fund is almost entirely devoted to scholarship support,” said Michael Cryor, a representative of Exelon Corporation who celebrated the Morgan Homecoming activities as returning alumni. “Sometimes it’s a difference of $500 or $50 that keeps a student in college. The Five Dollar Fund is used primarily for student financial support whether it is for tuition and fees or books- whatever we can do to ensure that students can stay in school.”
Created by Dr. David Wilson, president of the historical Black institution, the Five Dollar Fund is a reference to the five dollars Dr. Wilson received from his father, an Alabama sharecropper, who gave all he had to his son when he left home for college. The first in his family to attend college, Dr. Wilson now hopes that the same contribution will ease some of the financial burden for deserving students.
“In many ways it’s a metaphor for families across the nation who have sacrificed and done all they could to see that we move to the next level,” said Cryor, who hopes that people will understand that even small amounts can make a big difference.
Highlighting the new scholarship at the 2011 Homecoming Gala, Exelon used the opportunity to drum up support from the alumni who have given back so much to the university. The leading producer of nuclear energy plants and reactors in the country, Exelon is also the same company soon to merge with Constellation Energy, owner of Baltimore Gas & Electric.
Keeping thousands of engineers employed each year, Exelon Corporation was drawn to Morgan State University in large part because of attention garnered by The Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering, which graduates two thirds of all African-American civil engineers in Maryland, and all of state’s African-American physicists and industrial engineers.
Founded in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute, Morgan State University is now a premier institution for higher learning not only for African Americans but for students of all races.