Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife, Renee, will honor Ozzie Newsome – the Ravens' longtime personnel executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer – by making a $4 million gift in his name to Maryland's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Through The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, the $4 million donation will create the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, which will fund scholarships for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates who attend an HBCU in Maryland.
A gift of $1 million will be presented to each of Maryland's four HBCUs: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Each spring, each of the four HBCUs will select five City Schools' graduates as Ozzie Newsome Scholars for its incoming freshman class.
"The brilliance of Ozzie Newsome extends far beyond his accolades as a player and executive," Bisciotti stated. "Throughout his entire life, Ozzie has inspired and uplifted everyone around him with his leadership, humility and determination. We hope that Ozzie's example will inspire each of the Newsome scholars."
Beginning with the 2022-23 schoolyear, 20 new freshmen scholars will be selected every year for four years, producing a total of 80 Ozzie Newsome Scholars throughout the course of the program.
Ozzie Newsome Scholars will receive an annual college scholarship of $10,000 for up to five years of college, for a total investment of up to $50,000 per scholar. Ozzie Newsome Scholars will participate in the CollegeBound Foundation's College Completion Program. The Bisciotti Foundation will donate an additional $400,000 to the CollegeBound Foundation to fund the Newsome Scholar's participation in the College Completion Program, bringing the Bisciotti Foundation's total gift to $4.4 million.
Through CollegeBound, the scholars will be guided by a college completion advisor, work with a peer mentor (an upperclassman on campus at the HBCU) and join other Baltimore City Public Schools graduates in an overnight "transition to college workshop." The scholars will also partake in three annual skill-building seminars.
"We embrace the responsibility of discovering ways to strengthen educational opportunities for the youth of Baltimore City," Bisciotti stated. "Any positive impact that can be made to help students – especially in the pursuit of a college education and their career goals – only strengthens our community as a whole. The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program has the added benefit of providing scholarship funds for Maryland's four HBCUs, which have served Maryland and Baltimore City so well for many years."
** ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS:**
Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens Executive Vice President
"I am humbled and honored that Steve and Renee Bisciotti chose to associate my name with this tremendously important scholarship. This program will give many local graduates the ability to continue their education, and in turn will equip them with the necessary tools to make meaningful impact in the Baltimore community and beyond. These students will further their education through Maryland's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is especially meaningful to me. I look forward to watching the progress made through this scholarship program."
*Brandon M. Scott, Baltimore Mayor *
"Steve and Renee Bisciotti recognize the transformative impact of Maryland's Historically Black Colleges and Universities and are graciously paving a path for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates to take part in the legacy. Thanks to the Bisciotti Family and trusted support from CollegeBound, the Ozzie Newsome Scholars program will make the HBCU experience a reality for dozens of BCPS students by alleviating the hefty burden of college tuition and offering essential mentorship to ensure academic success."
Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public School System
"Words can't adequately express my gratitude to Steve and Renee Bisciotti for their generosity and targeted support for City Schools' students and their families. I appreciate the Bisciotti family for seeing our students and recognizing the importance of supporting the whole student for success in college. This is a win for Baltimore City and our state HBCUs. My thanks go out to everyone involved in this truly meaningful partnership."
Dr. Aminta H. Breaux, President of Bowie State
"As the first HBCU in Maryland, we are honored to have this tremendous and impactful grant recognizing the powerful inspiration of Ozzie Newsome's life of leadership and purpose while opening the pathway to higher education for the youth in Baltimore. BSU thanks The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation for strengthening the educational pipeline and the foundation of our community through improved access to a college education."
Anthony L. Jenkins, President of Coppin State
"The Coppin State University community would like to congratulate Mr. Ozzie Newsome on having this important scholarship carry his name. Moreover, we thank Mr. and Mrs. Bisciotti for their generosity. Their act of kindness and partnership with Coppin State University, a leader in urban higher education, will expand access, foster opportunity, and create upward mobility for so many deserving Baltimore City students."
Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, President of The University of Maryland Eastern Shore
"The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) enrolls a number of students each year from the Baltimore area who are not only looking to continue their education, but also take a break from city-life. We are grateful to the Bisciotti's for their generous donation in the name of 'The Wizard of Oz' Ozzie Newsome. Our hope is that the Newsome Scholars will take this wonderful gift they have been given and use it to make a better world. UMES looks forward to welcoming Newsome Scholars in 2022 and the following years."
David Wilson, President of Morgan State
"Steve and Renee Biscotti are no strangers to investing in the great city of Baltimore and advocating for its boundless potential — for these reasons and many more, I have long admired their philanthropic commitment to programs and initiatives that empower Baltimore City youth to realize their full potential. This investment, by way of the establishment of the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, will enable promising students from Baltimore City high schools with an opportunity to come to our National Treasure, Morgan State University to gain the tools that they need in order to dance on the world stage with anyone. We look forward to welcoming them to our beautiful campus and preparing them to be the leaders that they are destined to be."