Jerry Bell, former tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his wife, Ruth, a USF alumna, were among the founding members of the Black Leadership Network (BLN) at the University of South Florida. The Bells contributed $15,000 earlier this month to grow the BLN Bell Family scholarship.
At the second annual BLN Soirée, an event recognizing scholarship recipients (known as members of the BLN Family), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation announced a $15,000 gift to match the Bell's contribution, transforming the BLN Bell Family Operating Scholarship into the BLN Bell Family Endowed Scholarship. Unlike a standard operating scholarship, an endowed scholarship provides awards in perpetuity. This matching gift is part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation's Social Justice Fund, a campaign that matches contributions to social justice initiatives of Buccaneers players and Legends.
"Jerry and Ruth have been extraordinary ambassadors and advocates here in the Tampa Bay area and we are excited to join them in their ongoing efforts to ensure that others receive the gift of education," said Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Owner/President Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation and Glazer Family Foundation. "We are proud that so many of our current players and legends such as Jerry take an active part in giving back to our community through such selfless devotion to important causes and we look forward to continuing to support them in their charitable endeavors."
USF Foundation CEO & Senior Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations Joel Momberg said, "The generosity of the Bell family, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation, and community partners helps a group of students realize opportunities they may otherwise not experience. We are thankful for this continued support which further establishes the University of South Florida as the place where students of all backgrounds are empowered to become leading scholars."