Lexus gift to support golf management scholarship

  • Friday, June 5, 2015

    Lexus honors the legacy of the late golf pioneer Charlie Sifford   

    Car company establishes scholarship endowment for PGA golf management at UMES  

    Charlie Sifford - Lexus EndowmentTORRANCE, Calif. - (June 4, 2015) - Lexus celebrates the accomplishments of the late African-American golf legend and pioneer, Charlie Sifford, by establishing "The Lexus Endowment" at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  

    The Lexus Endowment of $100,000 at UMES will help college students establish careers in the golf industry, and in doing so, add to Sifford's legacy. A 2014 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Sifford became the first African-American to join the PGA Tour in 1961 and helped pave the way for professional golfers of diverse backgrounds. Sifford passed away Feb. 3 at the age of 92.

    "It is a privilege for Lexus to honor a pioneer like Charlie Sifford and help advance the dreams and aspirations of young, diverse students seeking to establish a career in the golf industry," said Jim Colon, vice president African-American business strategy, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

    "We enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Sifford going back decades, and so we are proud to be able to commemorate his rich legacy with this endowment," Colon said.

    UMES is one of 19 schools that offer a PGA golf management program that covers a broad range of aspects of the golf enterprise, and the only historically black institution to offer such a program.

    "Dr. Sifford was a true pioneer," UMES President Juliette B. Bell said. "We thank Lexus for this generous gift, which will remind generations of students of what can be accomplished with perseverance and determination despite the odds."

    In partnering with Lexus, UMES will name its 300-yard driving range on the 1,100+ acre campus, "The Lexus Driving Range," which will be dedicated at the Art Shell UMES Invitational golf tournament June 10.  

    This week's announcement of this formal gift to UMES coincides with what would have been Charlie Sifford's 93rd birthday on June 2.

    Lexus media contact: Moe Durand (310) 468-1601