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Howard University has been focused on furthering its STEM education efforts and the Washington, D.C.-based HBCU will be able to do so with the help of a new grant. The institution recently received a $4 million gift to fund its Bison STEM Scholars Program.

The grant was donated by the Hopper-Dean Foundation; an organization that has been dedicated to funding educational programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. The donation will be used to financially support Howard’s BSSP initiative which was created to provide nearly a dozen students with a 4-year full-ride scholarship. It was established to diversify the STEM field. The money will also go towards other STEM-centered projects being led by the HBCU.

Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick believes that the donation will play an integral part in transforming the lives of students. “The Hopper-Dean donation will make a life-altering difference in the lives of our students and we appreciate their investment and confidence in the University. This generous gift will further enhance Howard’s strategic plan and University mission to diversify the workforce with skillfully trained students who are prepared to focus on careers in computer science and computer engineering,” he said in a statement. “We have made significant progress over the last three years through the Bison STEM Program to change the landscape of what STEM Ph.D.s look like. This significant financial contribution by the Hopper-Dean Foundation speaks volumes to the caliber of the program and the student success achieved thus far.”

The donation is the largest gift that the university has ever received from a foundation. “As the importance of computing and computer science continues to grow, we truly believe the population of computer scientists should reflect that growth in terms of diversity,” said Jeffrey Dean and Heidi Hopper.

The gift comes a year after the university joined the Verizon Innovative Learning Program to provide workshops that cover science, technology, engineering and math for young boys of color in the Washington, D.C. area.


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