Former Hurricanes football star Calais Campbell, an NFL Pro Bowler with the Arizona Cardinals, pledged a gift of $1.6 million to the University of Miami’s athletic department on Wednesday — the largest donation a former UM student-athlete has ever given the school.
The Calais Campbell Football Defensive Lineman Endowment will fund a full scholarship annually, in perpetuity, to a defensive lineman on the Hurricanes football team. In recognition of the gift, UM renamed its defensive linemen meeting room in the Hecht Athletic Center in Campbell’s honor.
“Calais’ generosity will create opportunities for young men for years to come, and on behalf of the university I want to express our gratitude for his commitment to Miami,” said UM athletic director Blake James in a statement released by the school. “Calais is an incredible man and along with his family understands the importance of education and the impact a positive environment can have on a student-athlete. We are excited by the benchmarks set by Ken Hunt and now Calais, which will serve as catalysts for former student-athlete giving in the future.”
Last month, former UM running back Hunt made a $1.5 million donation to the program, then the largest gift to the athletic department by a former player.
Campbell was named the Hurricanes’ 2006 team MVP and graduated in 2008 with a degree in advertising and marketing.
“While running through the smoke as a Miami Hurricane will always be one of the great honors of my life, I am equally as proud of the education I received while a Hurricane student-athlete,” said Campbell in a statement released by UM. “Through my parents, I learned the value of earning a degree and through the University of Miami I was able to achieve it. The University of Miami continues to strive for the best in both academics and athletics, and it’s my honor to be a small part of that effort.”
Campbell was himself the named recipient of an endowed scholarship from Robert and Connie McGee, longtime supporters of UM athletics.
With Campbell’s gift, the school announced it has surpassed $106 million toward its fundraising campaign known as Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.
▪ Pompano Beach Ely receiver Therrell Gosier, a three-star prospect rated the 126th-best player at his position by 247Sports.com, announced on Twitter he was de-committing from the Hurricanes. Gosier (6-6, 200) was the lowest-rated of three receiver commitments in the 2015 class. UM is a finalist for Booker T. Washington star receiver Antonio Callaway, a four-star prospect rated the 20th-best at his position by 247Sports.