Talladega Commencement Speaker Donates $100,000 to the College

Acclaimed entrepreneur William F. Pickard donated $100,000 to the Talladega College in honor of Talladega alumnus and former vice chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Richard A. English.

In his commencement address, Dr. Pickard recounted a story of how Dr. English helped him find funding to pay a college fee. “I went to the Flint Urban League on a Saturday morning when they are normally closed and I needed $250 to pay my dorm fee to go away to college at Western Michigan University,” he said. The Urban League had already given away all of their scholarships, so Dr. English raised the $250 at an Alpha Phi Alpha meeting that evening.

Today, Dr. Pickard is chairman of Global Automotive Alliance (GAA), which has generated over $5 billion dollars in sales. He is also a co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino; CEO of Bearwood Management Company; and co-owner of five black-owned newspapers. He began his forty-five-year entrepreneurial career as a McDonald’s franchisee in Detroit, Michigan. He is also the author of the best-seller Millionaire Moves – Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship.

In addition to announcing the donation during his commencement address, Dr. Pickard encouraged students to have a vision and achieve their goals. “You will never be what you cannot see,” he stated.

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