By Lauren Victoria Burke
Howard University received the largest donation in the university’s history – a $10 million gift from the Karsh Family Foundation to be used for Howard’s Karsh STEM Scholars Program that will pay the tuition and fees for 30 students each year.
“We were able to attract highly qualified students who can actually get into any major university in the country … but thought the idea of pursuing a degree in STEM with compatriots who look like them and had similar lived experiences would be attractive,” Howard President Wayne Frederick told NBC News.
Howard has been the top producer of African American undergraduates who earn a Ph.D. in science or engineering, according to a 2013 study.
The number of Historically Black Colleges and University students increased 47%, from 223,000 to 327,000 students, between 1976 and 2010 and then decreased 9%, to 298,000 students, between 2010 and 2017, according to a recent report by the National Center for Educational Statistics.
HBCUs represent less than 3% of colleges and universities in the United States, but enroll 12% of all African American college students – and produce 23% of all African American college graduates.
The university also recently announced that it will transform roughly 32,000 square feet of land into a 230,000 square foot hub of mixed-use activity near campus.
“I am proud of Howard’s continued efforts to drive economic development in the district. Adding critical residential and retail amenities transforms vacant and underperforming assets into thriving communities that both improve the fabric of the neighborhood and add vitality to Howard’s mission,” Frederick said. “I am also particularly happy that we were able to include Gideon, which is headed up by a strong Howard University Alumni with a history of giving back.”