Jacksonville Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Weaver joined Edward Waters College President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins today to help kick off the comeback of Tiger football on the campus of Edward Waters College. The Weavers and Jaguars players presented two checks to Dr. Jenkins, in the amount of $75,000 and $575,000. Wayne and Delores Weaver committed $500,000 from the Weaver Family Foundation toward the EWC football program. Additionally, they challenged the Jaguars players to make a donation, and promised to match the players' amount dollar-for-dollar.
"We thank the Weavers, the Weaver Family Foundation, and the Jaguars players, and we view this gift as a vote of confidence in the rebirth of Tiger football and the important mission of EWC itself," Dr. Jenkins said.
Jaguars players personally donated $75,000 toward the return of EWC's football program after its 34-year hiatus. Their gift was matched by a $75,000 contribution from the Weaver Family Foundation. With the Weaver Family Foundation's additional commitment of $500,000, a total of $650,000 was presented toward the football program's endowment.
"We view this gift as one former expansion team helping the comeback of another after 34 years on the sidelines," Wayne Weaver said. "Edward Waters College is an important institution for the Jacksonville community, and has been for many years. From the Jaguars To the Tigers, we say 'Welcome back and we're proud to support your return.'"
Delores Barr Weaver added, "To support football at Edward Waters seemed a natural for Wayne and me, and to have Jaguars players partner with us is very special."
Last fall, EWC established a goal of raising $2 million before it would launch the return of the EWC football program. These gifts from the Weaver Family Foundation and the Jaguars players allowed the school to exceed that goal.
The first game of EWC's comeback season is slated for Saturday, September 1 at 3:00 p.m. at Newberry College in South Carolina. On Saturday, September 8th at 7:00 p.m., the college will host its first home game against Livingstone College at Raines High Stadium. The following weekend, the school will host a three-day extravaganza, including a benefit concert featuring Dionne Warwick and Isaac Hayes on Friday, September 14th at 8:00 p.m. at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, its second home game against Wesley College on Saturday, September 15th at 7 p.m. at Raines Stadium and its Freshman Convocation Services on Sunday, September 16th at 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church, featuring multi-million dollar plaintiffs attorney Willie Gary.