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.

Community college students hoping to earn a STEM degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University received a hand up from one of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. The historically Black university received a $1.5 million gift from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to support its Aggie Commitment Trailblazer Scholars (ACTS) program.

The School of Business at Historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C., received a $100,000 gift from the Siebert Williams Shank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Siebert Williams Shank & Co., the nation’s top-ranked minority- and woman-owned investment banking firm. The funds will be used for student retention programming, career placement opportunities, technology enhancement, curriculum development, and undergraduate scholarships in the School of Business.

The National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has issued grants totaling $650,000 to seven historically Black colleges and universities. The funds will be earmarked for students who will design plans to renovate or restore historical buildings on the campuses. The goal is to “cultivate the next generation of Black professionals in historic preservation.” The HBCUs receiving funds are Benedict College in South Carolina; Jackson State University in Mississippi; Lane College in Tennessee; Morgan State University in Baltimore; Philander Smith College in Arkansas; Spelman College in Atlanta; Stillman College in Alabama; and Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Historically Black North Carolina Central University, received a five-year, $5 million donation from Intel Corporation to create a new tech law and policy center. Intel will provide legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships, and Intel mentors to both students and faculty members. Students will engage directly with Intel executives who will serve as guest lecturers and provide practical legal experiences, networking, and mentorship.

Emory University in Atlanta received a $17 million grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project. A major portion of the gift will be earmarked for the construction of the museum of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Cold Cases Project will share in the remaining funds to continue research into the Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906, when a White mob inflamed by sensationalized and unsubstantiated media reports of crime killed at least 25 African Americans. The research will be featured in the museum.

Fordham University in New York received a sizeable bequest from alumna Margaret Peil to establish a new distinguished chair in African and African American Studies. The Margaret Peil Distinguished Chair will be open to scholars of any field — such as political science, history, cultural studies, literature, or sociology — who are devoted to the area of African and African American Studies. Peil, who died in March 2020 at the age of 90, was a native of Racine, Wisconsin, who spent most of her academic career at the University of Birmingham in England.

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