Golf returns to Edward Waters College, with $50,000 donation from THE PLAYERS
Women’s Program will relaunch in 2022
JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 03: THE PLAYERS presentation of a $50,000 donation to help reinstate the women’s golf program at Edward Waters College on May 3, 2021, at Edward Waters College in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR)
Jacksonville, Florida – Earlier today, THE PLAYERS Championship announced a $50,000 donation to help reinstate the women’s golf program at Edward Waters College (EWC). Located 30 minutes from the PGA TOUR’s flagship property and global home, the state’s first private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) is now one of only two HBCUs in Florida to offer a dedicated women’s golf program. THE PLAYERS’ grant will help EWC recruit and select a coach, fund student-athlete scholarships and assist with overall operational expenses as the program plans for a 2022 launch date.
Today's announcement was made on the EWC campus with leadership, trustees and staff of both organizations in attendance. Broadcast publicly via a live-streamed press conference (click here to watch), THE PLAYERS Executive Director Jared Rice and 2022 Tournament Chairman Matt Welch presented EWC President Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. and EWC Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Paul A. Bryant with the $50,000 check. Joining them were several past tournament chairmen (Red Coats), who were on-hand to deliver more than $10,000 in golf supplies and merchandise for the team.
“When the EWC team shared their vision with us and indicated that the revitalization of the women’s golf program was a primary focus for the College, we were inspired to support their mission,” said Rice. “As home to the PGA TOUR and host of its flagship event, we are committed to efforts that reflect our mission and values of being good stewards in the communities where we play. We are honored by the opportunity to help elevate the student-athlete experience at EWC and promote and grow the game of golf right in our hometown.”
“I am elated to partner with THE PLAYERS Championship,” said Dr. Paul Bryant, EWC Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “This joint effort to reignite women’s golf will enhance our offering of sports and give young women the opportunity to play the sport they love at a high level.”
“Edward Waters College is fortunate to be aligned with outstanding organizations such as THE PLAYERS Championship and PGA TOUR,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., president and CEO. “This donation will not only reinvigorate the women’s golf team, it will attract talented women to attend Edward Waters College from across the country due to the name recognition of our new partners. We thank the leadership and volunteers of THE PLAYERS and PGA TOUR for this special investment in the College’s athletics program and look forward to becoming a competitive force in women’s golf soon.”
The women’s golf program at EWC was first introduced in 2007 and was discontinued in 2015 following budget and program challenges. As part of EWC’s newly adopted strategic plan, Eminence 2025, the College is reengineering its Division of Athletics to prioritize gender equity ratio in sports across all competition facets.
In addition, EWC announced plans to launch a Student-Athlete Golf Mentor Program, a dual-purpose initiative that will engage student-athletes to serve as mentors in unique professional development environments – including exposure to career opportunities within the PGA TOUR and THE PLAYERS network – as well as off-campus volunteer experiences with community-based programs.
The PGA TOUR has a long-standing history of positively impacting the communities where it plays. Most recently, the organization and its tournaments have pledged a stronger commitment to efforts that are advancing diversity, equity and inclusion priorities in its host communities.
This week, TPC Sawgrass - home of THE PLAYERS - is also serving as the host course of the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, an annual championship that features the top student-athletes from HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the nation. The event features nearly 180 competitors representing 24 schools and 51 individuals who are competing in the three-day competition on Dye’s Valley Course and THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. EWC’s women’s golf team previously participated in this championship, which was formerly known as the National Minority Collegiate Championship.