Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning has endowed scholarships at six historically Black colleges and universities in Louisiana and Tennessee, but he wasn’t publicly known as the donor until another iconic quarterback revealed him as the secret philanthropist.
Former Grambling State University quarterback and head football coach Doug Williams broke the news on Manning endowing scholarships at GSU, Southern University, Xavier University of Lousiana, Dillard University, Fisk University, and Tennessee State University in a weekend interview with ESPN.
"When I asked who did this, I was told the donor wished it to be anonymous," said Williams, a senior vice president for the Washington Football Team.
"Ha, you know I have my connections at Grambling. I made a phone call and found out it was Peyton Manning's foundation and it was endowing a half-dozen scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities [HBCUs]. Peyton is a Louisiana boy. I know he's given to a lot of wonderful causes without publicity, but this was a most pleasant surprise for me."
The scholarships were all named for prominent leaders, faculty, or alumni of each school, and while details of the amount were not disclosed, Manning only spoke to the value of contributing to the rich legacy of the historically Black institutions.
"The Peyback Foundation is honored to partner with these six colleges to honor distinguished Alumni and staff members, and to help college students at these schools now and many years to come. Really, for perpetuity."
Williams is the namesake for a new center dedicated to research in race and policy in athletics at Grambling State, which last week named its executive director and members of its high-profile board of directors. The center is funded in part by the National Football League and private benefactors.