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 School of Business at historically Black North Carolina Central University in Durham received a $500,000 gift from Michael Johnson, vice chair of the university’s board of trustees. The gift from Johnson will support the continued curriculum development, marketing, and student recruitment efforts for the business administration program. The business administration program will be named in Johnson’s honor. Johnson is the president and CEO of the J&A Group, an executive coaching and business consulting firm. In 2008, he retired as the senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Williams, a publicly-held natural gas production, processing, and pipeline company.

Historically Black Delaware State University received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture in support of research relating to genetics and blueberries. The grant-supported project investigates the genetics underlying how blueberry plants respond to high-temperature stress tolerance and how the genetic information can help blueberry researchers and farmers to maximize fruit yields under a warmer climate scenario. The United States is the largest blueberry-producing country in the world. According to 2022 National Agricultural Statistics Services data, approximately 669 million pounds of blueberries were harvested in 2020.

Hampton University, a historically Black educational institution in Virginia, received a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The funds will support renovations at the Hampton University Museum. “The funding from the Mellon Foundation, Humanities in Place award will afford the museum an opportunity to become more proactive about the preservation of the university’s historic buildings and landmark,” says Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, the director of the museum.

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