Former UPS Driver Donates $20 Million To Help College Students in Need

Synthia Stark

Photo of Calvin and Tina Tyler; photo from Morgan State University

There many people out there in the United States that don’t have the means to access higher education, whether it is a fancy university or a vocational school. Either way, those people still have dreams to become better people.

Even so, higher education has become the norm where any job you have requires at least one or two of them. If you’re not in higher education, you might feel left out — especially when you are denied prospective working opportunities because of it.

For many people, higher education is the stepping stone towards a great future. There are countless people out there who are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and so much more. There are also people who wish to become big themselves but are unable to fulfil their dreams due to terrible setbacks. 

It’s hard when you have financial barriers that prevent you from accessing the means towards a better future. Plus, even if you could afford college, many students sink into debt just to possibly obtain a better and more sustainable future. In the process, many people struggle and a plethora of other situations arise, like stress, health issues, and debt. 

Calvin Tyler is not a stranger to all this. He reluctantly left behind his own collegiate dreams sixty years ago when the tuition at his old school became too expensive. photo of Calvin; photo from Morgan State University

In the 1960s, Calvin was a student of business administration at Morgan State University (it was called Morgan State College back then). His funds had effectively dried up in 1963, just a year short of his graduation and he ended up working as a UPS driver instead. 

For many, they would just give up and see themselves as failures — especially if they fell short of almost completing a degree. However, this didn’t prevent Calvin from developing and nurturing his dreams. Instead, he kept his dreams in mind and climbed up the ranks of UPS.

In fact, when he first started with UPS, he was only of the first 10 UPS drivers in Baltimore. By the time retirement occurred in 1998, Calvin had become Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations and a seated member of the UPS Board of Directors.

Calvin’s resolve, hard work, and intelligence paid off — but he also knew he was the exception to the rule, especially since many people would fall down the cracks.

In 2002, Calvin and his wife created the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund at the school he once attended. By providing these full-tuition scholarships for those in Baltimore, Maryland, students are able to increase their chances for success. 

If you’re a student in need, live in Baltimore and/or attend Morgan State University, you might be able to look into this scholarship as a means of funding some of your education. Since Calvin went through a lot of pain in his life, he figured that others would benefit from the future that he wasn’t able to receive, all those years ago. of Calvin and Tina Tyler at a Morgan State University ceremony; photo taken by Pagreene

Back in 2016, Calvin and Tina decided to raise the bar with their philanthropic efforts. They brought in $5 million and just this past year, they already broke their old record, pledging to give $20 million in scholarship endowments.

Calvin and Tina figured that given current world events, there would be students out there struggling more than usual, especially those who are lower-income. The logic is that the scholarship can help alleviate some burden for many more people. If incoming students have less financial stress, then they can focus more on actually learning stuff. 

Recently, the president of Morgan State University, David Wilson, had addressed the ongoing support from the couple. 

“Through their historic giving, the doors of higher education will most certainly be kept open for generations of aspiring leaders whose financial shortfalls may have kept them from realizing their academic dreams. The Tylers’ generosity over the years, culminating with this transformative commitment, is a remarkable example of altruism with great purpose.”

Even though Calvin was never able to get the degree he wanted all those years ago, he was lucky enough to climb up the corporate ladder, to help those people in need. If it’s any consolation, Calvin has taught us the power of paying it forward, one step at a time.

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Mental Health Professional | Crisis Responder | Science Writer


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