Will Smith was instrumental in honoring a prominent civil rights attorney and bringing about a name change at a law school in South Florida.
Will Smith has been using his star power to help raise money for St. Thomas University Law School, which has just been renamed after civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
On Wednesday (February 8), the Fresh Prince joined Crump in Miami at the dedication ceremony for what is now known as the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University. The rapper and actor said was an honor to be a part of the ceremony.
“Ben has been an absolutely spectacular friend and guide, and that’s why it was important for me to be here with him today,” Smith said after taking the podium alongside Crump.
“There are very, very few people in the world with a heart like this; so it is my deepest honor and my deepest pleasure to be here to support and to show some love. Congratulations on this historic honor.”
In order for the school to be renamed, a $10million campaign was launched to raise funds for scholarships aimed at law students enrolled at St. Thomas University. The campaign received several large donations, including $1million from Truist Bank and $1.5million from an anonymous donor.
According to TMZ, Smith, alongside George Clinton and Bishop T.D. Jakes, donated a large confidential amount.
Renamed during Black History month, the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University is the first law school in the U.S. to be named after a practicing Black attorney.
The only other law school in the country that’s named after a Black person is the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, named in honor of the United States Supreme Court’s first Black Justice and Crump’s personal hero.
Crump, referred to by some as Black America’s attorney general, has taken on many high-profile cases during his time in law. He’s represented the families of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and most recently, Tyre Nichols, the Memphis man who was beaten and killed by police officers last month.