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Hip-hop Veteran E-40 Donates $100K to Alma Mater, Grambling State University

Veteran hip-hop artist E-40 made a six-figure donation to his alma mater, Grambling State University, and now the Louisiana-based institution is honoring the West coast rapper by naming its new recording studio after him. 

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – JANUARY 12: E-40 attends Rap Snacks Disrupt 2023 Feed The Soul: A Conversation On Culture, Community, Family and Creating Wealth at W Fort Lauderdale on January 12, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Ivan Apfel/Getty Images)

Grambling will have a studio for its music program bearing the rapper’s name, Earl “E-40” Stevens, after the famed musician contributed $100,000 to the Grambling, Louisiana, school that is one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Complex reported.

The rapper only attended GSU for one year in 1986.

Six-Figure Donation

The six-figure donation will fund the school’s music department exclusively, including continuing support to the marching band, and maintain the newly installed recording studio, The San Francisco Examiner reported.

E-40, who reportedly has a net worth estimated to be $8 million, said he donated the money “so students can follow their dreams in music like he did,” according to a press release. A founding member of The Click rap group, E-40 formed his own record label, Sick Wid It Records. He made his rap debut in the late 1980s, and, in the 1990s, went solo.

E-40, his wife, Tracy Stevens, GSU president Rick Gallot and Dr. Nikole Roebuck, who is Grambling’s music department chair and director of bands, celebrated his donation with students and faculty at the school.

“I just wanted to make a contribution to my school, Grambling State University.” He said he talked to Roebuck, who said, “‘Let’s see what we can do,’ and this was what I came up with. I feel good about it, too. I feel really good. God is great,” the 55-year-old artist told a local radio station.

Grambling State University Funding

With an average enrollment of 5,000 students, Grambling State University has an operating budget of $50 million, according to the university. Over that last few years, it has received significant donations.

Grambling State University, which has notable alumni such as Erykah Badu, was part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which gave a group of HBCUs more than $2.7 billion in funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. GSU received $48,074,370, the second largest amount given to Louisiana-based HBCUs under the program, next to Baton Rouge’s Southern University and A&M College, which received $64,130,696, according to the White House.

In 2021, Grambling also received $250,000 in permanent endowment and financial aid grants funding from premium alcohol company Diageo North America. Diageo North America, through its Diageo Endowed Scholarship Fund, supported 25 Black colleges, providing scholarships to at least 10 students each year.   

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