UPS Driver-Turned-Philanthropist Talks Overcoming Financial Challenges, Investing, $20M Scholarship Fund

From left, Calvin E. Tyler Jr. is shown with David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, and Tina Tyler. Calvin Tyler knows what it feels like not to have the means to pay for college. The former UPS driver joins “Closer Look” to discuss a $20 million endowment commitment that he and his wife Tina recently made to help students who attend Morgan State University.

Courtesy of Calvin Tyler

A philanthropist and former UPS driver knows what it feels like not to have the means to pay for college.

Calvin E. Tyler Jr., 78, vividly recalls when he was forced to drop out of the Baltimore-based HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) known then as Morgan State College.

“I didn’t have a scholarship,” explained Tyler. “I had to pay my own way, and I just ran out of money. I was working and going to school, both at the same time, and it was a struggle.”

After dropping out of college in 1963, Tyler says his life’s trajectory changed when he became a driver for UPS in 1964 — a role that would lead him to management, then to senior vice president of operations and eventually to board member of UPS.

On Friday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Tyler, who retired in 1998, reflected on his 30-plus-year career and talked about the importance of hard work and self-belief and the power of investing in stocks.

He also talked with host Rose Scott about what led him and his wife to give back to college students at his alma mater.

“I wanted to try to focus on helping young people who may be struggling financially the same way we were back in 1961 and help them get a college education.”

Nearly 20 years ago, the Tylers established the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund at Morgan State University with a $100,000 endowment commitment.

The couple who met in high school recently increased their endowment commitment to $20 million.

“My goal, our goal is to have young people graduate, get their degrees and enter the next stage of life without college loan debt,” explained Tyler.

To listen to the full conversation, click audio player above.