Pro Bowler Calais Campbell Endows Athletics Scholarship

By UM News

Pro Bowler Calais Campbell Endows Athletics Scholarship

By UM News
The $1.6 million donation is the largest gift from a former student athlete to UM Athletics.

Calais Campbell, former 

University of Miami 

football student athlete, current NFL Pro Bowler with the Arizona Cardinals, and founder of the 

CRC Foundation

, has made a gift of $1.6 million to endow The Calais Campbell Football Defensive Lineman Endowed Scholarship to the University of Miami 

Department of Athletics

This endowment marks the largest total gift from a former student athlete in University of Miami Athletics history, which includes the recent $1.5 million gift from former running back Ken Hunt. With this gift, the Athletics Department has surpassed $106 million toward the University of Miami’s fundraising campaign known as Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

“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 Director of Athletics Blake James. “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.”

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 for this historic gift, the defensive linemen meeting room in the Hecht Athletic Center will be renamed The Calais Campbell Defensive Line Meeting Room.

A fierce competitor, Campbell excelled at the University of Miami. An all-ACC defensive end, Campbell recorded the ninth best single-season sack total in Hurricanes history with 10.5, on his way to being named the Hurricanes’ 2006 team MVP. Campbell was a four-year letter winner, 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. “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. Campbell and the McGees formed a strong bond during his time at the University, and they remain close today.

“The McGees were very inspirational in my life and I’m honored to now stand beside them as a fellow donor to Hurricane Athletics” said Campbell. “I hope that through this gift I can inspire others to think about how they can continue to positively impact the lives of Hurricane student athletes, just as the McGee family has done for many years.”

“Our family has enjoyed attending University of Miami football games for many years. When we lost our son, Shane, at age 13, we created an endowed football scholarship in his memory,” Bob and Connie McGee said. “Our first recipient was Calais Campbell. It was a wonderful experience to meet Calais as an incoming freshman and to watch him grow as a player and a man.

"Our relationship with Calais has helped us both understand the impact that a scholarship can have on a young person’s life. Calais is an exceptional young man. We are so pleased that he has decided to carry on the tradition of investing in the young men who will play football at University of Miami by giving an endowed football scholarship. We feel that our family’s scholarship has come full circle,” they added.

In 2008, Campbell was selected 50th overall in the second round of the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals, and has continued to excel in the NFL, becoming a Cardinals team leader and being named to his first Pro Bowl. Off the field, Campbell has twice won the Cardinals “Man of the Year” award for his work in the Arizona community through his CRC Foundation.

The University Of Miami Department Of Athletics fields 17 varsity sports with over 400 student athletes. Over 258 student athletes receive athletic scholarship dollars. For scholarship endowment information, contact Alfonso Restrepo, Assistant Director of Development for Major Gifts, at 305-284-6705.