Howard University has announced that the college has received a $4 million gift from the Hopper-Dean Foundation to help fund the Bison STEM Scholars Program (BSSP). The monies will provide 10 computer science or computer engineering students with a full-ride scholarship for four years to the university.
“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,” says President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a press release.
“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 gift will support the expansion of Howard’s STEM education program and is Howard’s largest gift received from a foundation to date. In addition to student scholarships, the gift includes $1 million designated to the President’s Innovation Fund to support future programs and initiatives related to STEM education.
“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. “This gift to Howard University is designed to support Howard’s robust STEM education program and help expand its reach in the future.”
Every year, the program accepts 30 scholars enrolled in programs from the College of Engineering and Architecture and the College of Arts and Sciences. Bison STEM scholars are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.30 and are expected to meet with a professional mentor, participate in summer research internships, study abroad, and complete the summer bridge program for incoming freshmen. After graduating, the scholars will pursue careers in research, policy development, or leadership roles related to STEM.
“This generous contribution will allow the Bison STEM Scholars Program to continue providing minority students with a rigorous and supportive opportunity in STEM education. By participating in our program, these emerging scholars will be some of the most well-prepared candidates for graduate or professional degrees amongst their peers,” said Ron H. Smith, program director for the Bison STEM Scholars Program. “We look forward to growing our capacity to serve more students interested in pursuing professional careers in STEM with the support of this gift.”