CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A one-time University of Miami running back has donated $1.5 million to the school, the largest individual gift made to Hurricane athletics by one of their former players.
The gift from T. Kendall “Ken” Hunt will fund a full scholarship in perpetuity to a running back on the football team.
Hunt earned a football letter from Miami in 1962, but his playing career was cut short when he was accidentally shot above his left ankle at a sport-shooting range. The school honoured his scholarship through his graduation from Miami and Hunt is now Chairman and CEO of VASCO Data Security International.
“That scholarship meant everything to me,” Hunt said. “No one in my family had ever gone to college. This was my way forward. I used the education that I received from Miami to better myself. I guess you could say that I have been successful in business. Now, I give back to ‘The U’ with an endowed scholarship for the next Ken Hunt.”
Hunt’s gift was part of the school’s $1.6 billion Momentum2 capital campaign, which is ongoing.
“Ken competed at a very high level during his time at Miami and did not let adversity derail him from reaching his goals,” Miami athletics director Blake James said. “He has gone on to be very successful professionally and has never forgotten the role Miami played in helping him get there.”
As a private school, Miami does not openly divulge all its donor information. Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his now-ex-wife Dany Garcia, both former Miami athletes, combined to give $2 million to the school in 2006 to help fund the construction of an on-campus alumni centre, then made a $1 million gift in 2007 toward a football facilities renovation fund.
Former NFL player Edgerrin James also donated $250,000 to his school in 2000, and has a meeting room named for him.