Prairie View A&M University has announced a $40,000 donation from the Cameron Champ Foundation and Chevron Corporation to establish two scholarship funds for student-athletes on its men’s and women’s golf teams.
The donation follows Augusta National’s announcement that it is honoring Lee Elder, the first African American to compete in the tournament, with a scholarship in his name and by making him an honorary starter for the 2021 Masters.
“When Lee Elder walked on the Augusta grounds,” said Champ, a two-time PGA TOUR winner, “it sent a message: ‘We belong.’”
Inspired by Elder and Augusta National’s actions, the scholarship fund, established by the Cameron Champ Foundation and Chevron, will be named in memory of Cameron Champ’s grandfather, Mack “Pops” Champ. Mack Champ, an African American, taught Cameron Champ how to play golf and, like Elder, inspired his grandson and other minority golfers to pursue competitive golf.
“My grandfather had such an incredible influence on my life and always inspired me in many ways,” Cameron Champ said. “I’m so grateful for Pops introducing me to the game of golf, but also for teaching me that there’s so much more to life than golf. He always stressed the importance of giving back and paying it forward. Last week, Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley addressed how access and opportunities are still barriers to the game, and he hit the nail on the head when he said that the time to do more is now. That really sparked this idea, and I thought, what better way to honor PaPa Champ than to take up the challenge to do more, right now.”
The Cameron Champ Foundation’s investment in PVAMU is a part of the foundation’s work to improve education and access to golf in underserved and underrepresented communities.
“Mack Champ was born in Columbus, Texas, in a segregated neighborhood with limited resources. His determination to fight against systemic racism and discrimination fuels our work,” said Cameron Champ Foundation Board Chair, Glenn Weckerlin. “We recognize that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color and has placed a heavy burden on the university and its already stretched funding. We are thankful that we can collaborate with such a historic institution to provide deserving student-athletes from diverse backgrounds opportunities that they might not otherwise have. We are delighted to contribute to student dreams and hope our actions will inspire others to follow suit—the time is now.”
Source: PGA tour