Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

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

The department of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago will receive its fifth year of funding from the BRAID (Building, Recruiting, And Inclusion for Diversity) program. The program works to address specific issues that affect women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. The initiative includes modifying computer science courses to make them less intimidating and more appealing to minority students, building pipeline programs for minority high school students, and promoting joint majors in areas like computer science and biology. Since UIC started receiving BRAID funding the number of minorities enrolled in the university’s computer science program has increased from 117 students to 246 students, but has remained at just under 20 percent of enrollment.

The University of California, San Francisco and the University of Southern California are collaborating with and receiving funding from the nonprofit Lazarex Cancer Foundation to conduct a three-year study to identify ways to improve cancer clinical trial participation among medically underserved populations, including low-income individuals and racial and ethnic minorities. The study aims to increase trial enrollment, access and minority participation by determining the most significant financial barriers for enrollment and identifying ways to mitigate them.

Historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, has received a $4.6 million donation from the estate of the late alumnus Dr. Eugene McGowan Jr. to establish the Eugene McGowan Jr. endowed scholarship. Dr. McGowan graduated from Morehouse College in 1937. He was a prominent Delaware psychologist and a former Atlanta public school teacher. The new scholarship will further Morehouse’s mission to educate men who are committed to service, leadership, and academic excellence.

The College of Business at Louisiana Tech University has received a $150,000 gift from Dr. Bob and Mary Cunningham to establish the Bob and Mary Cunningham Scholarship Fund, upgrade buildings and technology, and enhance programming within the college. The new scholarship will support the educational opportunities of African American students studying accounting, business administration, or entrepreneurial management.

Historically Black Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina has received a donation from The Chris Paul Family Foundation to support WSSU Team 250, a fundraising initiative aimed at raising $250,000 over four months to address the needs of the athletics department. Paul plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. The gift will fund new uniforms, equipment, and scholarships for university students. More than 100 donors and organizations have supported the initiative since it launched and more than $95,000 has been raised so far. The campaign will continue through June 30, 2019.

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