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.”
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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.
In other Will Smith news, the Philadelphia-born star recently reunited with Martin Lawrence to announce plans for a fourth installment in the Bad Boys action franchise.
Sony Pictures confirmed to Variety that Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are both on board to direct Bad Boys 4. The duo also directed 2020’s Bad Boys For Life, which served as one of the final blockbusters at the box office before the pandemic swept the globe.
Bad Boys For Life raked in $426.5 million at the worldwide box office 25 years after 1995’s Bad Boys original collected $141 million globally.
On the music side of things, Smith was supposed to be a part of the Grammys’ 50th anniversary Hip Hop tribute performance last weekend but backed out, according to Questlove.
The Roots drummer, who curated the all-star spectacle, revealed to Variety on the 2023 Grammys red carpet on Sunday (February 5) that Smith had initially agreed to dust off his Fresh Prince persona and join the celebration.
However, Quest explained that the 54-year-old was forced to drop out to due obligations with Bad Boys 4.