Pro Football Hall of Fame member Deion Sanders earned his baccalaureate degree from Talladega College over the weekend through the institution’s FastTrack adult continuing learning program.
The famous graduate earned a lot of regional headlines, but it was HBCU Gameday Founder Steven J. Gaither who summed up perfectly the context of Sanders and the utility of HBCUs in the orbit of high profile African Americans.
Here is a man that helped turn one school into a $100 million-plus brand, launching a pro career that propelled him to individual prosperity. But when it came time to fulfill a journey that was as much spiritual as academic, he came to a small, private historically black college that is always a few missed donations or low enrollment semesters from closing.
Watching him celebrate his accomplishment by doing his iconic shuffle dance across the stage, there’s more going on than maybe even Sanders realized.
Now Talladega needs from Sanders what every HBCU needs from its alumni — the willingness to pay it forward.