The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced today a Baltimore businessman has pledged to donate $500,000 that will be used to recruit students to its PGA golf management program

Carnelious Jones’ gift will support four full-ride scholarships he hopes will encourage minorities and women to pursue careers across the golf industry. Jones, who owns a petroleum wholesaling business, has asked UMES to name the scholarships in honor of trail-blazing African-American golfers James Black, Renee Powell, Calvin Peete and the late Ann Gregory.

UMES leaders call Jones’ donation “transformational … (and) will provide the university’s PGA golf management program with much needed resources to recruit motivated students to the program.”

UMES is one of 20 higher education institutions in the country that offers the unique course of study backed by the Professional Golfers of America organization. It is the lone historically black institution with an undergraduate program that combines instruction in how to play professional-level golf with hospitality industry training.