HOUSTON-TSU alumnus Michael Strahan announced today on ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael that he would personally donate $100,000 to his alma mater in their mission to get to Canton, Ohio August 1-3 to support him at his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Even though messages were sent early to Strahan that sending the band to Canton was something that the alumni and friends of the band wanted to do on their own as a gift to him, the proud Tiger could not sit idly by after hearing that actor-comedian Kevin Hart had donated $50,000 last week.
The band will make three appearances: The Texas Southern “Ocean of Soul” marching band will participate in the TimkenSteel Grand Parade that draws a quarter of a million spectators, perform at the Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party and play at the unveiling of the NFL Statue as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies. Then band students will attend the enshrinement ceremonies to see their famous alum on one of the biggest stages in football.
Eva Pickens, TSU’s Associate Vice President who is leading this initiative, announced that the Strahan donation has put the band over the top in their 30-day fundraising efforts. “This is awesome,” Pickens stated. “Canton will never be the same once the Ocean takes to the streets of this grand parade. It’s a great day for TSU, the city of Houston and beyond.”
Pickens says the goal was to raise $150,000 in 30 days. “If we surpass our goal, monies will be used for scholarships to band students.
TSU’s Band Director Richard Lee exclaimed after hearing the news of the donation, “This is huge for our students. It gives them an experience of a lifetime.”
TSU will utilize this opportunity to do recruiting and outreach as well. Invitations have been extended to all the area schools to come take a look at the university and our powerful band.
The Ocean is comprised of students who not only make up the marching band, but the symphonic band, the jazz ensemble and the pep band. It’s a multitude of talent in that 200-piece unit.