If Calvin E. Tyler had not dropped out of Morgan State University because he lacked the funds to continue his studies there in the 1960s, the university probably would not have received a historic $5 million donation from Tyler. But Tyler put his plans to become the first college grad in his family on the back burner. He was a newlywed, had a family to support, and he couldn’t pay tuition and his household bills.
Dropping out of the business administration program in his junior year at Morgan State, he landed a job as a driver at United Parcel Service in 1964. It was a pivotal point in the company’s history. Tyler quickly rose through the corporate ranks in a few years.
“I would have preferred to have stayed and finished, but I learned a lot.” Tyler told the Washington Post.
“We just wanted to help the kids who may not be able to attend college without these scholarships,” said Tyler who became senior vice president of U.S. operations at UPS before retiring in 1998.
Morgan State University will use the historic $5 million donation to endow a scholarship fund for incoming freshmen from Baltimore who have at least a 2.5 grade point average and showed signs of grit and promise in high school.
Tyler who grew up in Baltimore said he wanted to make the money available to students who have the great potential to succeed in college.
The couple made the announcement from their home in Vegas. The couple provided Morgan $500,000 to establish the scholarship fund in 2002, followed by another half-million dollars three years later and a $1 million gift in 2008. This month, the couple donated $3 million, bringing their total investment to $5 million.
Their recent gift is one of the largest individual donations to any HBCU in history, Morgan officials said.