Higher Education Grants of Interest to African-Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Historically Black Virginia State University received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for a research project using nanotechnology to identify trace levels of chemical and biological contaminants such as E. coli and salmonella bacteria in food and water.

The research is under the direction of Godwin O. Mbagwu, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Biophotonics and Biodevices at Virginia State. He graduated from the University of Nigeria and went on to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

The Kresge Foundation, based in suburban Detroit, has pledged to donate $15 million over the next five years to further higher education in South Africa. The new funds will continue the foundation’s partnership with Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement. The effort will focus on creating pathways for greater access to South African universities for underrepresented groups and on programs to increase their retention and graduation rates. Funds will also be used to strengthen the fundraising capabilities of South African universities.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, received a $232,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, to support its Programs for Talented Youth. The effort brings 60 gifted students from low-income families to the Vanderbilt Summer Academy for high school students and the Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for Young Students for those in grades 1 to 7.

Texas Southern University‘s Thurgood Marshall School of Law will receive the law library of Joe Jamail, a leading Texas attorney. The 1000-volume library has an estimated value of more than $3 million.

Jamail, known as the “King of Torts,” hired as an associate the first African American graduate of the Texas Southern law school. He has also lectured at the university.


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