Virginia Tech will recognize David Clowney as Athlete of the Year during the Influential Black Alumni Awards ceremony on April 13. This year’s ceremony is held on the first day of Virginia Tech’s Black Alumni Reunion, which takes place every two years.

Clowney, a former Virginia Tech football star, has a heart for underprivileged children who want to go to college, but whose families cannot afford it. In 2008, he launched the David Clowney Foundation, which raises money for scholarships to help disadvantaged youth go to college and pay for books.

“If it wasn’t for athletics, I would have never been able to afford a university,” said Clowney, who after graduating from Virginia Tech in 2006 played in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and in the Canadian Football League. He retired in 2013.

His foundation is based in Delray Beach, Florida, where Clowney grew up, and this June marks its 10th celebrity charity weekend. The weekend features celebrity kickball and basketball games and other activities that draw families and professional athletes. All proceeds from the weekend go toward the foundation’s scholarships.

The foundation gives about $20,000 a year in scholarships.

Along with his charity work, Clowney, who recently earned an MBA from the University of Miami, is the H-back and receivers coach for Howard University’s football program. He has a bachelor’s degree in real estate and property management from Virginia Tech’s Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management and a master’s degree in justice administration and public service from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

The Influential Black Alumni Awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. in Squires Student Center’s Colonial Hall. Clowney will be one of seven alumni recognized.

Written by Jenny Kincaid Boone