FanDuel, Washington Football Team Donate $1 Million to Virginia HBCU Students

Posted on February 25, 2021

FanDuel Sportsbook and the Washington Football Team have announced a $1 million donation to college students at Virginia’s five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Officials made the announcement on Wednesday as part of Black History Month.

The donation to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which will help local students needing emergency assistance, follows FanDuel and WFT’s recent sports-betting launch in Virginia. Because of its partnership with the NFL team, FanDuel was first the first sportsbook to market in VA, on Jan. 21.

As part of their sports-betting endeavor, FanDuel executives and Washington team officials promised they’d be good neighbors and would invest in the community.

This seven-figure donation to HBCU students is undoubtedly a delivery on that promise.

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How Virginia HBCU students can receive assistance

There are currently 101 HBCUs located throughout the US. Nearly 300,000 students attend the colleges and universities, which are about a 50-50 split between public and private.

The five HBCUs located in Virginia include:

  • Hampton University (Hampton)
  • Norfolk State University (Norfolk)
  • Virginia State University (Petersburg)
  • Virginia Union University (Richmond)
  • University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg)

FanDuel and Washington’s $1 million gift will provide aid grants for those students seeking emergency assistance for technology, housing, food security, tuition, and other education-related expenses.

The UNCF will work with the HBCU institutions to ensure that students who demonstrate need have access to the aid. Students are encouraged to inquire with their schools’ Financial Aid Office by the beginning of March.

Officials plan to make the aid available “as expeditiously as possible,” according to the announcement. Each student’s attending institution will disburse the aid.

FanDuel Group CEO Matt King said:

“Supporting these institutions and these hard-working students, amidst enormous challenges related to COVID, is the right thing to do. As we celebrate Black History Month and recognize the critical role HBCUs play in developing the next generation of leaders in business, academia, and civic participation, our hope is that this investment in students keeps them on the path to realize their academic and personal goals while enrolled at these universities.”

Washington Football Team’s Virginia ties

The Washington Football Team’s corporate offices are located in the Virginia city of Ashburn, which is a Washington, DC suburb. The team also holds its training camp in the VA capital of Richmond.

Of course, there’s also the possibility the team could play its home games in Virginia, as well. However, that’s part of a much bigger and complicated discussion about the team’s future.

Regardless, companies like the WFT tap heavily into the Virginia talent pool when it comes to hiring.

That’s one reason WFT team owners Dan and Tanya Snyder said they supported the HBCU initiative:

“HBCUs have produced some of the most accomplished and successful individuals across countless professions making an incredible impact on our organization along with numerous others in the DMV. This important investment is a way to continue to foster the talent at these great institutions and give the scholars of today a chance to achieve their goals and career aspirations.”

Photo by AP / Jose Luis Magana
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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