Miles College, in Fairfield, is the recipient of two large gifts from sports stars during the month of January.
On January 6, Miles College received a $1 million gift from Charles Barkley, the former NBA Hall of Fame athlete who grew up in Leeds. It was the single largest gift ever received by the school. Barkley also has been engaging Miles students by giving talks on campus.
“It’s great that Mr. Barkley thinks enough of Miles College to donate a million dollars,” said Interim President Bobbie Knight. “This gift lays the foundation to launch our $100 million comprehensive campaign.”
Following that announcement, on January 21, Miles College was presented a check for $50,000 from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston’s gift will be used for upgrades within the college’s football program.
Winston, who grew up in Hueytown, has built a relationship with the college over the past five years, hosting his Dream Foundation Football Camp at the school since 2016. In addition, his mother is an alumna of Miles.
“Having someone of Jameis’ stature selflessly contribute to our growth here at Miles gives credence to what we are trying to accomplish, which is to give our student-athletes the best collegiate experience possible,” Knight said. “This investment in our students will continue to show up on the playing fields and in our classrooms.”
Miles Athletic Director Reginald Ruffin said, “We are so appreciative of the support Jameis has given to Miles College. Just like having his football camp here, his financial donation will have a tremendous impact on our athletic department as we try to achieve our next level of excellence.”