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Perry E. Wallace Jr. Basketball Scholarship

Civil rights trailblazer Perry Wallace, who became the first African American varsity basketball player in the Southeastern Conference when he suited up for Vanderbilt University in 1967, has been honored with a new scholarship at the university.

The Perry E. Wallace Jr. Basketball Scholarship provides support for student-athletes at Vanderbilt, rotating recipients between the women’s and men’s varsity basketball teams. Gail Carr Williams, associate director of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations at Vanderbilt, and David Williams II, Vanderbilt’s athletics director and vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs, made the inaugural charitable contributions for the scholarship, along with their children, Nicholas, Samantha, David III and Erika.

“The scholarship is an enduring way to extend Perry’s legacy at Vanderbilt,” said David Williams. “The student-athletes who receive this scholarship will carry forward his example of courage, resilience and perseverance for years to come – a model for both our university and for athletics broadly. We invite our community to join us, deepening this powerful legacy by supporting this scholarship with gifts of any size.”

To make a contribution to the Perry E. Wallace Jr. Basketball Scholarship, please visit, or contact the National Commodore Club office at (615) 322-4114. To learn more about Wallace’s legacy of courage, visit

Watch the Feb. 19 celebration of Perry Wallace’s life: