CLEVELAND, Miss. — Bob Dunlap, founder of Dunlap & Kyle Tire Company, has donated $100k to Delta State University for athletic scholarships and to enhance the athletics nutrition center. The successful Batesville entrepreneur began in 1953 and quickly grew his business into one of the leading tire wholesalers in the country. “I’ve had a good time doing it,” he said. “I’ll be 94 next month, and as long as I can live, I’m going to get after them.”
Dunlap & Kyle wholesales tires to dealers around the world and operates 40 Gateway Tire & Service Centers in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee, plus one in Ohio. Their newest wholesale facility will be in Aiken, South Carolina. Dunlap is a noted philanthropist who regularly and generously supports athletic programs and schools throughout Mississippi. He played football in high school and fondly remembers his time on the gridiron.
“I played high school football when the helmets were still like a leather glove,” he said. “Old shoes – I couldn’t pick them up they were so heavy. I asked them to let me play barefooted, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Dunlap has many philanthropic interests all centered around helping people, especially those who would have no other means to succeed and making the world a better place to live. One of his latest projects is erecting the large crosses along highways in Mississippi.
Athletic Director Mike Kinnison said, “Mr. Dunlap’s donation and support of Delta State Athletics demonstrates his desire to see student athletes succeed and have a successful collegiate athletics experience. Scholarship support allows our programs to strengthen their rosters and improve their overall talent level. We appreciate his commitment to our nutrition center which allows us to continue to provide quality nutritional resources.”
DSU Foundation Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer Dr. Lori Spencer said, “Mr. Dunlap has a heart of gold which has been proven over and over by his years of giving back to his hometown and all throughout Mississippi. We are so thankful for the lives he touched at Delta State.
“When I learned our very own quarterback had worked in Dunlap’s store as a little boy alongside his grandfather, I knew this gift had to honor athletics. The money is providing athletic scholarships and proper nourishment to our students at an athletic nutrition station. Mr. Dunlap has been very good to us.”
For more information about Delta State Athletics, visit gostatesmen.com. For more information about the DSU Foundation or to make a donation, visit deltastategiving.org.