Morgan State University today announced receipt of a $20 million commitment from Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina

By Jordan Jake

March 07, 2021

On February 22nd, Morgan State University announced it received a pledge that will change the lives of many young black students. Alumnus and donor Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina, donated a large sum of $20 million!

 

Alumnus and donor Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina, donated a large sum of $20 million toestablish an endowed scholarship fund that was founded earlier in the Tyler’s name. 

This scholarship has financed 222 Morgan scholars by 46 full-tuition and 176 partial scholarships, with the guarantee of helping more "Tyler Scholars" with the expanded multimillion-dollar commitment. Students attending Morgan come from various environments, regularly among unprecedented conditions, and a multitude of financial needs with 90% of students securing financial aid. Students applying for the Tyler Scholarship must match financial criteria and have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5. 



“Morgan is so proud to call this son and daughter of the great City of Baltimore our own, and through their historic giving, the doors of higher education will most certainly be kept open for generations of aspiring leaders whose financial shortfalls may have kept them from realizing their academic dreams,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “For public institutions, like Morgan, our charitable alumni are testaments to the legacy we collectively uphold, and the Tylers’ generosity over the years, culminating with this transformative commitment, is a remarkable example of altruism with great purpose. We are forever indebted to the Tylers.”

Back in 2016, the Tylers made their first pledge of $5 million to the University— at the time, the biggest in Morgan’s history— reinforcing the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund founded in 2002 to accommodate sufficient tuition scholarships for select need-based students staying in the Tylers’ hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. The lofty donation Morgan State just received is the biggest private donation from an alumnus in the university's history and is considered to be the largest contribution of its kind to any Historically Black College or University (HBCU) nationwide from an alum. 

Taking into consideration of the financial difficulties and obstacles, several students and their families are facing as a result of this modern pandemic, the Tylers were impelled to extend their offering. Previously limited to students only from Baltimore, the endowed scholarship is now nationwide and will help generations of future Morgan students seeking a college education. 

" “We’re trying to help young people succeed and this goal is aligned with Morgan’s mission; it’s such a perfect fit. We believe that Morgan State happens to be the best institution to use these resources,"
Calvin E Tyler, Morgan State Alumnus

In 1961, Calvin E. Tyler Jr enrolled at Morgan State as he was the first in his family to attend college. Unluckily, he later took a hiatus from his education in 1963 due to lack of money and ultimately decided upon a job as a UPS driver in Baltimore. That ended up being the best decision of his life as he would then work his way up the ladder, as a black person in corporate America. 

He eventually soared to senior vice president of operations before his departure in 1998 and joining the company’s board of directors. During his 34-year career at UPS, Tyler never forgot where he came from. He and his wife, Tina realized their calling card is to assist those who encountered misfortunes while pursuing their college degrees.

“My wife and I have become keenly aware of the effect that the pandemic has had on a number of young people trying to get an education [and] we have the resources to help a lot of young people,” Tyler shared. “This is why we are increasing our commitment at Morgan; we want to have more full tuition scholarships offered to young people so that they can graduate from college and enter the next stage of their life debt free.”

"Endowed scholarships and other gifts have far-reaching implications for any institution, but for a public, urban university like Morgan, with students from a broad spectrum of academic, social and economic backgrounds, the need is especially great,” said Donna Howard, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “We are forever grateful to the Tylers for their unrelenting charity to alma mater. The impact of their generosity will have a prevailing effect fostering Morgan-made leaders for generations.”

“We’re trying to help young people succeed and this goal is aligned with Morgan’s mission; it’s such a perfect fit. We believe that Morgan State happens to be the best institution to use these resources,” continued Mr. Tyler. 

Attesting the value of delivering and strengthening systems of higher education, Tyler quarrels that “reliance on government loans is just not the answer. Debt can be extremely crippling to someone trying to get ahead in life [and] we just want to help as many young people as we can [to] get an education.”