Texas Tech University has launched a scholarship fund in honor of both George Floyd and Timothy Cole. The fund will make increased financial support available to incoming and returning students who commit to supporting marginalized communities on campus.
“In light of the call for racial equality and justice in our nation, we believe that access to higher education is a means to address both," Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec said.
A portion of the fund will honor Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died in May following an encounter with former police officer Derek Chauvin. Accompanied by a video recording of the encounters, news of Floyd's death has sparked a social justice movement against racial injustice across the county.
The second portion of the fund will honor the life of Timothy Cole, a former Texas Tech student who was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1986. Cole served 23 years in prison before dying in 1999. A statue of Cole now stands near the university's campus at the intersection of 19th Street and University Avenue in Lubbock, Texas.
Honoring both men through this scholarship fund has been received by well in the community. Shortly after the fund was established, the Texas Tech University Black Student Alliance issued a statement in support of the decision.
“Floyd’s death sparked a shift in our world, one that opened many people’s eyes to systemic racism, police brutality, and racial injustice that affects the lives of Black and brown bodies around the world; it is important for us to encompass these struggles through these scholarships.”
“There is a need for active change in how Black and brown people are seen, heard and treated. By being a catalyst for change, Texas Tech University is taking a stride in the right direction with their contribution to these scholarships.”
In partnership with the Black Student Alliance and engaged alumni base, the university has already began accepting donations for the upcoming academic year.
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