Wiley College has named Tom Joyner its Humanitarian of the Year. Joyner was named the recipient of the award during the closing luncheon of the College's Eleventh Annual Ethical Student Leadership Conference in late January. The College selected the venerable radio giant for the 2017 award because of his devotion to using his prominent platform to help others, with perhaps his most notable philantrophic work being his mission to help black colleges and universities secure funding to ensure their viability, provide scholarships to students attending HBCUs, as well as help elevate the visibibility of these schools. His Tom Joyner Foundation has raised $65 million to aid 29,000 students since it was founded in 1998.
Thomas Joyner Jr., who is the President and CEO of the Foundation, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon and accepted the Ethical Student Leadership Humanitarian Award on behalf of his father. Speaking on the topic, "The Soul of Philantrophy," Thomas Joyner Jr. shared that he learned early in life from his famous father about the importance of giving back or " super serving" the communities in which they live and work. True to the mission of his own work at the foundation, Thomas Joyner Jr. used his speaking time to inform students about scholarship opportunities and the importance of paying it forward when they finish school and become working professionals.
Also during the luncheon, Wiley's Student Government Association presented Joyner a $1,150 donation to the Foundation, representing one dollar for each of the school's current students.
The signature program of the Tom Joyner Foundation is its "School of the Month Program." Each year through the program, the Foundation selects 11 HBCUs to showcase their academic programs, history, and mission on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," a nationally syndicated radio show that airs each weekday in 115 markets and boasts nearly eight million listeners. The "School of the Month Program" also selects Hercules Scholars at featured schools and grants them each a $1,5000 scholarship. Wiley College was most recently a "School of the Month" in February 2016, and during that month, with the Foundation's support, the school raised over $44,000.
The Ethical Student Leadership Conference is the cornerstone of Wiley's Center for Excellence in Student Leadership, which endeavors to develop Christian Leaders who are able to think critically, act responsibly as citizens, and be open-minded and grounded in their decision making. Since its inception in 2007, the conference has drawn hundreds of student leaders from colleges and universities from around the country. Schools represented by student leaders at this year's conference included Texas College of Tyler, Texas; Texas State Technical College of Marshall,Texas; Jarvis Christian College of Hawkins,Texas; Lawson State Community College of Birmingham,Alabama; Houston Tillotson University of Austin; Southwestern Christian College of Terrell,Texas; and Paul Quinn College of Dallas.
In top photo, Thomas Joyner Jr.,second from left, accepts Humanitarian of the Year award on behalf of his father, Tom Joyner during the closing luncheon of Wiley's Ethical Student Leadership Conference. Pictured with Joyner are Wiley students Nateisha Choice, Cameron Smith(SGA President), Alexandra Jeremiah(Miss Wiley), and Edward Grogran.
In second photo, Wiley students present donation on behalf of the Student Government Association to Thomas Joyner Jr. to support the Tom Joyner Foundation. The donation represents one dollar for each student who attends Wiley College.