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 Memphis Theological Seminary received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to form a House of Black Church Studies at the school. The house will serve as a repository for sermons, for cultural practices, and for contributions of the Black church. The initiative is under the direction of Karren Todd. Dr. Todd s a graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, where she majored in business administration. She holds a master of divinity degree and a doctor of divinity degree from the Memphis Theological Seminary.

Historically Black North Carolina Central University received a grant of nearly $100,000 that will enable researchers to digitize the university’s history. With the funding, NCCU will hold a five-day workshop this summer to teach faculty how to incorporate digitized materials about campus history into their classes.

The University of Texas at Austin received a $1.5 million gift from Martin Taylor, a managing director at global investment firm Vista Equity Partners, to support the university’s Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males, a faculty-led academic initiative to promote academic excellence. The funds will help expand the Sweatt Center’s signature programs focused on widening career paths and increasing development opportunities for Black male students on campus.

Historically Black Texas Southern University received a $500,000 grant from the Houston Astros Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Major League Baseball team. The gift will provide scholarships and fund initiatives in sports management at the university.

Columbia Business School in New York City received a $10 million donation from Robert F. Smith, founder, chair, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. The gift will fund a scholarship program for students who graduate from historically Black colleges and universities. Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, students will be eligible to receive both partial and full-tuition scholarships from the fund. Over the next 10 years, the gift is expected to help Columbia Business School to attract and support approximately 200 students from HBCUs and diverse backgrounds.

Winston-Salem State Unversity, the historically Black educational institution in North Carolina, received a $1 million grant from Adobe Inc. The grant will fund the establishment of a new digital lab on campus. The grant will also fund personnel training, faculty development, and equipment for the lab.

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