Beginning with the next academic year, minority students attending Duquesne University will have another tool to assist them financially, the Cumberland W. Posey Jr. Endowed Fund, named for the legendary player, manager and eventual owner of the greatest Baseball team in Negro League history, the Homestead Grays.
Calling it a “living legacy,” to Posey, University President Charles J. Dougherty made the announcement with several of Posey’s grandchildren and family friends in attendance.
“The lives of minority students will be touched and changed by the financial aid they receive in his name,” Dougherty said. “They, in turn, will carry his tradition of achievement all around the world.”
One relative who traveled to the ceremony from Atlanta, was his granddaughter Nancy Boxhill, a former Fulton County commissioner.
“We are grateful and thankful. My grandfather was a great sportsman, and of course, he liked to win. But the result on the scoreboard wasn’t the only definition of winning,” she said. “That’s what this scholarship will mean for the young people who receive it. They will reframe winning not merely as success for themselves, but also for the communities in which they live and serve. That’s the way that a Posey would do it.”
Posey, the son successful riverboat Captain Cumberland Posey Sr., was an exceptional overall athlete. He played basketball for Pitt, Penn State and Duquesne in the early 1900s, and was also the captain of Duquesne’s varsity golf team.
Posey joined the Grays in 1911, became the manager in 1916 and three years later purchased an ownership stake. Under his leadership, the Grays became the mightiest team in the Negro Leagues. During one 15-year stretch they won 13 league championships. The other two were won by the rivals across the Monongahela, The Pittsburgh Crawfords.
Posey died in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Others attending the ceremony included Homestead Mayor Betty Esper, and Pathologist and former Homestead Councilman Dr. Evan Baker, who is also one of Posey’s grandchildren.
“It’s nice to think that, in this day of skyrocketing tuitions, this will help minority students. And it’s especially nice that his name is on it,” said Baker. “It was an interesting twist because I knew about the baseball, and didn’t learn about his basketball until I was in 6th grade. But I never knew about the golf at all–and I play golf. I thought I’d heard all the stories.”
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