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John Schnatter, Former Papa Johns Pizza Owner Makes Sizeable Gift To Simmons College of Kentucky

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Amid fanfare and criticism Simmons College of Kentucky president, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, Simmons College Trustee Chair, Mark Lyn and John Schnatter held a press conference Wednesday September 4, 2019 announcing the $1,000,000.00 (one million dollar) gift to Simmons College.

Dr. Cosby & John Schnatter at press conference
Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, President of Simmons and Mr. John Schnatter

According to reports, Mr. Schnatter praised the work of Simmons College and the

National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc which is headquartered on the Simmons Campus. How the contribution will be used Simmons College has not been made public, but Dr. Cosby introducing Schnatter stated that the contribution is an "initial" contribution.

Mr. Schnatter quoted statistics about the success of HBCUs. He repeatedly cited their role in producing the lion's share of the successful African American college graduates as engineers, doctors and Doctoral degree holders.

The announcement was not without its critics as well, some of whom openly said that Simmons should not have accepted the donation and should return the monies. In response to the push-back against the contribution, The Courier Journal reported

Cosby said moments before leaving the parking lot "The black community is in crisis." He continued by saying "It's going to take resources to support black colleges and universities ... that's what this is about. Any other issue is subterfuge."
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