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Vinny Curry donates $200K for endowed scholarship, facility project

June 24, 2016 GMT

HUNTINGTON - On Oct. 15, 2011, Vinny Curry delivered one of the most inspiring performances in Marshall University football history.

Less than 48 hours after he buried his mother, Curry took the turf at Joan C. Edwards Stadium and produced nine tackles and 3.5 quarterback sacks with a forced fumble and recovery late in the fourth quarter that set up a game-winning touchdown in Marshall’s 24-20 win over Rice.

Curry turned that performance and several others into a second round selection (No. 59 overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and, recently, he signed a 5-year deal to remain with the Eagles for $46 million, which includes $23 million in guaranteed money.

Now, Curry has found a way to give back to the school that gave him a chance on the football field while also honoring the woman that taught him his strength and perseverance.

Marshall announced Thursday that Curry donated $200,000 to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation that will be divided between an endowed scholarship in the name of his mother - Linda “Cissy” Jackson - and a facility renovation project in the Shewey Building.

It is part of the “Vinny Curry Project,” that was also announced Thursday by the athletic department.

“Marshall means a lot to me,” Curry said in a statement. “Without the opportunity I was given to receive an education and play football, I would not be in the position I am today. I haven’t forgotten that. The people of Huntington are special and have always had my back and my best interests in mind.”

Curry said education and securing a solid future was central in his mother’s desires when he was growing up. Now that he’s achieved both goals as a Marshall graduate and NFL player, he wanted to help others who are on a similar path.

“My education is important to me and was always important to my mother,” Curry said. “If she was still here, I know how proud she would be that I am a college graduate. I came here with not a lot of direction and the academic foundation that Marshall provided gave me a chance to be successful in life.”

According to the release, a portion of Curry’s gift will go into the total pool of Marshall scholarships with the Big Green Scholarship Foundation.

The rest will go toward a facility renovation project for the Shewey Building. The “Vinny Curry Project” is a fundraising campaign geared toward all Marshall football alumni having the opportunity to donate $1,000 to have one of 118 lockers in the locker room dedicated to them.

“It is our goal to put a name on every single locker, and I have pledged the first $1,000 to purchase mine,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said. “This is an exciting time for Marshall athletics and Marshall football, and Vinny’s generosity shows what being a true Son of Marshall is all about.

“This is a tone-setting gift he has given, and it shows what kind of person he is and what Marshall meant to him.”