Tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton is investing in the education of Black undergraduate students at Oxford University. According to USA Today Hamilton—the founder of Backstage Capital—has launched a scholarship fund for students attending the England-based institution.
The fund—dubbed the Oxford-Arlan Hamilton and Earline Butler Sims Scholarship—is the first of its kind at the university and is worth $300,000. It will cover tuition and room and board fees for up to three years to help alleviate financial burdens for underprivileged Black students. Students will also receive an internship grant worth nearly $4,000. She was inspired to launch the scholarship program after visiting Oxford University and noticing the lack of Black students. Hamilton says she hopes the fund will diversify the student body by increasing the racial representation at the prestigious school. Black students account for a mere 2.6 percent of the undergraduate student population.
“I plan on doing this for several schools over the next decade, and starting with Oxford because I’ve spent a great deal of time with their students and faculty,” she said in a statement. The leadership team at Oxford University is humbled by her contribution and believes it will be instrumental in diversifying the institution. “Finance should not be a barrier to opportunity or education, and I hope that this announcement reminds black students across the country that there are opportunities for them at the University,” said Martin Williams, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Oxford University. The scholarship fund is slated to launch in 2020.
This isn’t the first educational initiative that Hamilton has led. She will also launch a scholarship program at Dillard University; her mother’s alma mater.