Duquesne Endows $1 Million Cumberland Posey Fund to Assist Minority Students
Duquesne University has announced the creation of the Cumberland W. Posey Jr. Endowed Fund. Established with a principal of $1 million, the fund's distributions will help the University retain talented minority undergraduate and graduate students who have financial need.
"In a city that reveres its sports figures, we honor a man who could be called Pittsburgh's forgotten champion," said Duquesne President Dr. Charles J. Dougherty during a luncheon on Oct. 29. "Cumberland Willis Posey Jr. was a true legend, and not just in one sport."
Born in 1890, Posey was a Homestead native who played basketball at Penn State, Pitt and Duquesne in the early 1900s. During his three years at Duquesne, he led the basketball team in scoring and was captain of the varsity golf team. He played on amateur and semi-pro basketball teams that routinely defeated top national collegiate and professional squads.
Posey also played baseball and joined the Homestead Grays in 1911. Five years later, he became team manager, and in 1919, he purchased a stake in its ownership. Under Posey's leadership, the Grays became one of the most successful franchises in the Negro Leagues, winning multiple championships with a roster of players rivaling the All-Stars of the then-segregated Major Leagues. He passed away in 1946, a year before the Major Leagues were integrated, and was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2006.
"This endowment is a living monument to the legacy of Cumberland Posey," Dougherty said. "The lives of minority students will be touched and changed by the financial aid they receive in his name. They, in turn, will carry his tradition of achievement all around the world."
"My grandfather was a great sportsman, and of course, he liked to win, but the result on the scoreboard wasn't his only definition of winning," said Posey's granddaughter, Dr. Nancy A. Boxill, a Duquesne alumna and social scientist who served 23 years as a commissioner of Fulton County, Ga. "That's what this scholarship will mean to the young people who receive it.
"They will reframe winning as not merely success for themselves, but also success for the communities in which they live and serve. That's the way that a Posey would do it."
Boxill and Truman Brown, two of Posey's three grandchildren, presented a check to augment the endowment fund on behalf of the family. For more information about the Posey Endowment and additional giving opportunities, contact University Advancement at 412.396.4937.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.