The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Brothers of Lafayette Football announces endowment fund

The endowment aims to provide football players with opportunities off of the field. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College)

On March 9, a new endowment fund was announced by Brothers of Lafayette Football to allow more football players of color to participate in opportunities like summer internships and interim trips, opportunities that some are unable to partake in due to financial concerns.

According to John Troxell ‘94, the head coach of the football team, eligible football players will be able to submit an application requesting funds from the endowment, but the exact process of approving or denying this application has not yet been determined.

The endowment was established and primarily funded by Brothers of Lafayette Football, an alumni group primarily composed of players of color from the Lafayette football team that first came together at the beginning of the pandemic. 

“It originated as just a way for the alumni to talk and try to deal with COVID and … George Floyd and all those kinds of things,” Harrison Bailey III ’95, a member of Brothers of Lafayette Football, said. “But as we started to talk, we recognized that we needed to do something more to help students on campus.”

Since then, the group has been holding virtual monthly educational sessions with active players of color on the team. These sessions invite alumni to present on a range of different topics, from financial management to dealing with discrimination on campus.

Now, building on this relationship, Brothers of Lafayette Football has established an endowment fund to provide more concrete support to the active members of the team.

Bailey highlighted summer internships as a key example of the opportunities that the group hopes to fund.

“Some students, because their family is financially able, don’t need to work over the summer. But other students, they do have to work, to support their families and to support themselves,” Bailey said. “What that means is that those who have to work now aren’t able to access internships because most internships aren’t paid. It creates this question of, ‘Do I take this internship that in the end will yield a great experience and a great connection to XYZ company? Or do I take a local job and make a couple thousand dollars over the summer to support myself during the school year?’”

Troxell agreed that there is a clear and well-established need for this new fund. In his time at Lafayette, he also witnessed a disparity of opportunity for students unable to access adequate financial resources. 

“When I was here last time, ’01, ’06, guys were selling their meal plans to try and get some extra money just to go have a pizza or something,” he said. “They were just trying to survive.”

To Troxell, the programs organized by Brothers of Lafayette Football, in addition to the new endowment fund, have had a positive impact on the lives of players. 

“The kids know that they have someone that they can turn to who can help guide them through their experience and navigate some of the hurdles here,” Troxell said.

Although the endowment fund is currently specifically reserved for members of the football team, Troxell sees potential for the program to expand and reach a wider group. 

“I’m hoping that this can expand beyond just football and that other alums will want to jump in and ask, ‘How do we create this network for the larger population here at the college?’” Troxell said.

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