Friday afternoon, Truist Financial Corporation announced the formation of the Homers for Hank program, a five-year commitment to donate $755 to the Henry Louis Aaron Fund for every home run hit by the Atlanta Braves, totaling a minimum of $1 million. The funds will be used to build a program that provides scholarships for students attending historically Black colleges and universities, career development programs for HBCU students/alumni and other future support initiatives in honor of Hank Aaron’s legacy.
Homers for Hank is retroactive to the start of the 2021 Major League Baseball season through 2025. The number 755 is significant as it represents the number of career home runs hit by Hank Aaron, earning himself the title of home run king.
“We’re excited to continue supporting meaningful work in honor of Hank Aaron’s legacy,” said Chief Digital & Client Experience Officer Dontá Wilson. “Supporting HBCU students and graduates will have a lasting impact, and this investment is a way to advance equity for the future. Hank Aaron proved that diversity makes us stronger, on and off the field. At Truist, we share this belief, and this commitment will commemorate and celebrate his life and legacy.”
In addition to Homers for Hank, Truist will annually fund two Henry Aaron Fellowships through 2025, according to a release. Dedicated to diverse professionals, the Henry Aaron Fellowship is a full-time position within the Atlanta Braves organization designed to support candidates interested in becoming the next senior-level executive of a Major League Baseball club. Fellows will spend 12 months gaining in-office experience and developing the skills necessary to lead a major league franchise to success. The salaried fellowship honors Hank Aaron’s commitment to creating opportunities for minority players in baseball and promoting greater social, civil and racial equity. The 2021 Hank Aaron Fellowship recipients are Zoe Watkins and Sterling Bright, whose positions will run through February 2022.
“We are grateful to Truist for this commitment to the Henry Louis Aaron Fund and Braves Country HBCUs,” said Danielle Bedasse, director of community affairs, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Braves Foundation executive director. “We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership to further Hank Aaron’s legacy to promote equal access and opportunities in baseball, on and off the field.”
Both announcements come after the opening of a new exhibit, “A Tribute to Hank Aaron,” at the Community Corner presented by Truist in The Battery Atlanta. The exhibit will be open from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29 and will inform visitors of Aaron’s immeasurable impact on the baseball community and the world.
Included in the exhibit is an immersive timeline of Hank Aaron’s life and legacy, showcasing memorabilia, game footage and highlights that are emblematic of his impact within baseball and social, civil and human rights. Guests can “hit it like Hank” with a virtual batting experience, as well as create an animated GIF of their own home run moment using Atlanta Braves props. Visitors will take home a customized hat giveaway, while supplies last, as a physical reminder of their time at Truist Park and the legacy of Hank Aaron.