The HBCU world is still buzzing after Sean “P. Diddy” Combs proclaimed during Sunday’s BET Awards show that he was donating $1 million each to Howard University and Jackson State.
The news was met with understandable excitement over the generous gift and confounding disappointment that the influential music mogul didn’t offer to give more and that he decided to bankroll Howard — a school that historically has received notable donations from celebrities over the years.
Celebrity HBCU philanthropy isn’t new or has been limited to just Black colleges on the East Coast, either. Here are 10 public figures who’ve made donations to HBCUs across the country.
The future Naismith Hall of Fame basketball star has been heavily involved in HBCU causes. He’s most recently launched an HBCU apparel line, created an HBCU basketball tournament and even helped produce documentaries on HBCU athletic programs. Paul even took classes at Winston-Salem State. Paul previously teamed up with the United Negro College Fund, Kevin Hart, Toni Braxton and other celebrities to contribute over $500,000 in scholarships to HBCU students.
The one-time Los Angeles Lakers player and former Clark-Atlanta basketball coach used his non-profit HBCU Heroes to partner with JP Morgan Chase to provide computers to Grambling State University student-athletes and other HBCUs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legendary talk show host and business mogul has been generous in HBCU giving. Oprah has previously given million-dollar donations to Morehouse College and Spelman College. She recently pledged $2 million to Tennessee State University to offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo used her enormous wealth to donate millions to the likes of Tuskegee, Xavier University of Louisiana and Hampton among others.
The Morehouse grad turned award-winning filmmaker and frustrated New York Knicks fan sat on the school’s board and donated money to start Morehouse’s journalism program.
Terrence “J” Jenkins
The actor and former 106 & Park host Terrence once donated 100,000 to his alma mater North Carolina A&T that went to the school’s journalism and communications program. department.
When Denzel Washington starred in 2007’s “The Great Debaters,” he donated $1 million to Wiley College.
The only current HBCU player in the NBA, Covington donated resources to help fund the “Covington Pavilion” for the Tennessee State basketball program. His gift is the largest of this magnitude to an HBCU by a former athlete that was a product of its program.
The much-traveled NBA All-Star in 2018 donated $100,000 to Texas Southern that is expected to be earmarked for scholarships toward assisting students in financial need.