Karl Malone, the NBA Hall of Famer who is nicknamed “The Mailman,” lived up to his title and delivered a $25,000 check donation to the College of Business for the formation of the Karl Malone Family Scholarship at Grambling State University. Many GSU students and others questioned what made the former Louisiana Tech and NBA legend give this donation. They’ll say, “No ties to Grambling, why here?
“I grew up in North Louisiana,” Malone said. “I didn’t go to Grambling because I had the opportunity to play down the road, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know about Grambling.
“When I was playing basketball at Tech, a group of us would go to Grambling to practice against their players all the time. I spent a lot of time over here (in Grambling).”
Malone was invited during the fall semester to speak with students about business and to inspire them to strongly consider entrepreneurship as an option. The interaction, group participation and the love he received from the College of Business students sparked the donation.
The purpose of the scholarship is for entrepreneurs to start their business and give them a good financial start. This will not only benefit the recipients of the scholarship but it will also help boost the local economy, which thrives on small businesses.
“The Malone family scholarship is the first of its kind,” said Dr. Carl Wright, dean of the College of Business.
“We are very thankful and appreciative of the Malone family for choosing Grambling and giving our students a chance to achieve their entrepreneurship dreams.”
The scholarship has an application process and requirements to become the recipient for that school term. The requirements will include being a graduating senior from the College of Business, a certain (unspecified) GPA, be in good standing with the university and have a good solid business plan.
A business plan typically outlines business location, need for the product, marketing, finances, budget, etc.
The business plan and application will be reviewed by a panel that will also include members of the Malone family. Once the recipient is chosen they will not only receive the scholarship of $5,000 at the spring Honors Day Convocation but will also receive a mentor.
This contribution, however, is only the beginning for the College of Business here at Grambling.
The College is currently in the process of creating an entrepreneurship center to help students think outside of the box and begin to create their own jobs during this tough economy.
More seminars are also currently in the works to highlight successful entrepreneurs and show students how great starting your own business can be.
The Malones provided a stepping stone to not only the College of Business but also Grambling State University. Malone stated there are no plans to restrict business locations, although he admitted preferring North Louisiana. The $25,000 donation is enough to give five different individuals scholarships for entrepreneurship.
“Here’s what I hope,” Malone said. ” I hope everything goes perfect for five years, and then we’re back to do it again, only maybe even bigger and better next time.”
The tentative dates to pick up applications are Feb. 15. The business plans are due by April 1.