Talladega, Alabama—Graduation ceremonies are momentous occasions where scholars receive a grand prize for their years of hard work, toil, and commitment to their education. Talladega College recently graduated over 70 students who received their Bachelor’s degrees in various disciplines and are embarking on further studies and/or careers in their areas of expertise. During the 138th Commencement Exercises, after conferring the prized degrees to graduates, Talladega College was given a grand gift from a famous supporter.
On Sunday, Baseball’s Hall of Fame, Henry “Hank” Aaron and his wife, Billye, presented a check in the amount of $104,000 to Talladega College. The Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation presented the check to the college in honor of their 4 for 4 Endowed Scholarship, which represents one of Hank’s numerous baseball feats.
“The Aarons have been devoted philanthropists to education and advancement for youth across this country. We are honored at Talladega College to be supported by the Chasing the Dream Foundation. I’ve personally witnessed and experienced the philanthropy of the Aarons while I was President at Texas College (Tyler, Texas), of which Mrs. Aaron is an alumna. We are grateful to receive their continued support of students and education here at Talladega College,” remarks President, Dr. Billy C. Hawkins.
The Aarons have been long advocates of higher education. Mrs. Aaron worked for many years with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) where she gave of her time and talents to fundraise and donate to institutions across the nation. Mr. Aaron founded the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation with his wife Billye over 17 years ago. The Chasing the Dream Foundation will fund 12 institutions across the United States with the “4 for 4” scholarship. The scholarship name refers to the 12 times in Mr. Aaron’s baseball career that he went 4-for-4 at the plate. The scholarship was created by the Aarons to give back to the community by supporting deserving at-risk youths across the country and help them “chase their dreams” by impacting their lives with funded educational opportunities.
During the Commencement ceremony, Mrs. Billye and Mr. Hank Aaron were both conferred with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. In recognition of their national benevolence and dedication to education, the Aarons are now recognized as Drs. Aaron courtesy of Talladega College.