Up Next

Magic Johnson wants to raise $2.5 million to S.C. State

Scholarship in his name will go to students in the business school

Earvin “Magic” Johnson has never shied away from philanthropic opportunities, so it was no surprise when the NBA Hall of Famer and entrepreneur partnered with South Carolina State University to raise money for a scholarship in his name, the first in the university’s history.

The $2.5 million endowed scholarship will go toward the financial expenses of students in the S.C. State University School of Business in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

“I am overjoyed by the opportunity to continue my commitment to higher education through my partnership with S.C. State University,” Johnson said in a statement. “Since visiting the university over a year ago, we have worked to develop meaningful ways to contribute to its success. This endowment will help continue the legacy of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities [HBCUs]. I encourage all corporate and socially responsible citizens to support HBCUs.”

Johnson’s philanthropy is well-known. The Magic Johnson Foundation, begun in 1991, was created to fight HIV/AIDS through grant-making. Its mission has broadened since then to empower urban communities, address the lack of educational opportunity, digital literacy and college access.

According to the university, Johnson’s partnership comes at a time where people are contributing more than they have in recent years. Private donations to the university have increased more than 361 percent over the last year, leaping from $915,959 to $4.2 million. Alumni contributions have also seen an 81 percent increase from $437,275 to $972,304.

More than one year ago, Johnson spoke on campus as part of the business school’s Executive Speaker Series. It was then that he committed to helping the university.

“We are certainly honored that Earvin is teaming up with S.C. State to assist in achieving what will be the university’s largest single philanthropic investment to date,” said interim president Dr. W. Franklin Evans. “His partnership not only marks a milestone in the university’s history, but this partnership will produce an indelible impact in the university’s legacy.”

The partnership will be formally announced at a fundraising event in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.