Duquesne Endows $1M Roberto Clemente Scholarship for Hispanic Undergraduates
Duquesne University announced today the establishment of a $1 million Roberto Clemente Endowed Scholarship, created to honor the legend's outstanding contributions to the city of Pittsburgh, his commitment to diversity and social justice, and for his heroic humanitarian efforts. It is the first scholarship in higher education to be named for Clemente.
"Roberto Clemente lived his life by a set of core values that are perfectly aligned with those that guide the mission of Duquesne University," said Duquesne President Dr. Charles J. Dougherty, at a special gathering at PNC Park's Gunner's Lounge. "His work to promote diversity, social justice and care for those less fortunate are the true pillars of his great legacy."
The Clemente scholarships, which will be awarded for the Fall 2013 semester, will be presented based on merit and financial need to eligible Hispanic freshmen.
"I believe that Duquesne University has embedded in its mission and culture the similar characteristics of Roberto Clemente-not the baseball player, but the humanitarian and civil rights leader," said Roberto Clemente, Jr., who referred to Pittsburgh as his second home. "We are very proud to be a part of this scholarship that will help change the lives of so many young students and enable them to go to an institution of higher learning like Duquesne that is so well respected. It's really an honor."
The Clemente scholarships will be renewable each year based on the student's academic performance. Duquesne, which enrolls approximately 10,000 students, has Hispanic students from as far away as Puerto Rico and California as well as from here in Pittsburgh.
Roberto Clemente, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955. During his career, he led the National League in batting four times during the 1960s, became the first Hispanic player to reach 3,000 hits and was one of only four players to earn 10 or more Gold Glove Awards (he earned 12).
As a humanitarian, Clemente did charity work in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries, including delivering baseball equipment and food supplies. He died in an airplane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, when he accompanied a flight to deliver much-needed emergency relief supplies to Managua, Nicaragua, which had suffered a massive earthquake.
Clemente, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, is the namesake of the Roberto Clemente Award presented annually by Major League Baseball to the player who follows his example of humanitarian work. In Pittsburgh, PNC Park includes a statue of Clemente that is located near the Roberto Clemente Bridge, near the City's Roberto Clemente Memorial Park along North Shore Drive. The Roberto Clemente Museum opened in 2007 in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood.