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Boxing great provides financial boost to Wiley College

4/9/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn

By United Methodist News Service*

Boxing legend and commentator George Foreman has given a United Methodist-related college a $100,000 punch in the arm.

The former two-time heavyweight champion recently made the gift to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, for several programs, including men's basketball.

Foreman, who calls Marshall home, made the gift in honor of his eldest son, George Jr., a 1999 graduate of the historically black school. The younger Foreman is Wiley's director of alumni affairs and planned giving.

"I've always wanted to do something substantial for Wiley," the boxing great said. "This seemed to me like a good time to give back to the college."

George Foreman Jr. had dreamed of playing college basketball, and that became reality at Wiley. He developed a close relationship with coach Eddie Watson, a longtime friend of his father's.

Watson is also an artist, and he became closer to the Foreman family when asked to do a painting of a small community in Marshall called Possum Ridge, where George Sr. was born.

"George Jr. played basketball for me, and through that connection I was asked to do a painting of Possum Ridge," Watson said. "We have a longstanding friendship, so that it doesn't surprise me that George (Sr.) would do this for the college."

The $100,000 gift is earmarked for several programs with $15,000 going to the men's basketball program, "for anything coach Watson needs."
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*This story was based on a press release by Larry Acker, director of public relations for Wiley College

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