Fast forward to 2010. Blunt had retired from politics. He had raised his family. He had served his community and his alma mater. But he felt he could do more. And he knew exactly what.
“I’d made a few extra dollars and I said I’d rather give back to the institution that made it possible for me to live the way that I’m living today,” Blunt said.
So Blunt called Winston-Salem State and asked how much it would cost to repay the scholarship that he had earned from Coach Gaines more than 50 years earlier.
“That was the one step that I needed to prepare me for life,” he said. “And because of that, this is my way of giving back.”
While Blunt admitted himself he couldn’t have paid to go to school, one could argue that all the accolades Blunt achieved from 1961 through 1965 had already settled any debt he owed the institution. Add in the cost of sending his daughter to the school out of state, and his time on the Board of Trustees making money and decisions for the school, he had more than lived up to the school’s deeply entrenched motto: “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve.”
“Sometimes we tend to forget, the system that made it possible for us to be successful. And I did not want to forget both the source, which was Winston-Salem, and the person— Coach Gaines— for doing what they did to help me, to propel me, to be where I am today.”
Imagine where we would be if more former HBCU student-athletes, or alumni period, felt compelled to action by the same sentiment.