Unrestricted Grant Among the Largest Philanthropic Gifts in University History
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University—Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University and the state’s largest HBCU—has received a $5-million grant from Google to help create pathways and opportunities for increased diverse representation in the STEM-related professions. The one-time, unrestricted financial grant will provide Morgan with financial support for scholarships, technological infrastructure support, career readiness and curriculum development. Morgan is one of 10 institutions to receive a grant from Google and comes as part of a $50 million commitment to build tech equity for HBCUs and foster a diverse talent pipeline in STEM fields.
“Google’s considerable investment in HBCUs, and in the ingenuity and promise of our students, demonstrates a recognition of the unparalleled track record HBCUs have consistently amassed in producing top talent representing American innovation, ideation and global competitiveness,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “With this effort, Google is setting a new standard in corporate philanthropy that directly addresses decades of gross inequities and underfunding at HBCUs and establishes a new path forward to ensuring workforce diversity in STEM, one of our most critical sectors here in the U.S. and within the global market.”
This investment builds on Google’s Pathways to Tech initiative, which was announced earlier this year and is designed to build equity for HBCU computing education, help job seekers find tech roles, and ensure that Black employees have growth opportunities and feel included at work.
“I’m delighted to provide our HBCU partners with a $50 million unrestricted grant. These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries,” said Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer for Google. “This investment further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech.”
STEM fields represent the fastest-growing workforce sector in the U.S. projected to increase 13% between 2017-2027, in comparison to the 9% growth that’s estimated for the majority of the nation’s workforce. The opportunity to advance representation within STEM, particularly in big tech is vast. The percentage of Black professionals in tech, principally those employed at the nation’s top five big tech companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google) represent an average of 9% of their collective total workforce.
Morgan, along with many of its fellow HBCU institutions represent a largely untapped resource with 25% of African American graduates with STEM degrees coming from HBCUs. In relation to the higher education landscape in Maryland, nearly 17% of Morgan’s alumni are employed in STEM fields, versus 11% for the balance of the state’s colleges and universities. Google’s Pathways to Tech initiative, in addition to its novel Tech Exchange and Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness programs are making significant strides in bridging the gap and meeting the high demands of fueling the talent pipeline of skilled, workforce ready professionals through immersive experiential learning programs, focused career development initiatives and meaningful investment.
Added Wilson, “Google has done its homework and understands that our HBCUs are great institutions for unrestricted investment. In so many ways, Google has followed the terrific example of MacKenzie Scott, conducting its research and concluding that our institutions have great management teams who are not only great stewards, but understand all too well what our needs are. Google is placing trust in us to use these funds in a way that will best amplify the opportunities that exist within our institutions. I hope other corporations, particularly our big tech corporations, can follow this example and set course for a new beginning of how corporations invest in our institutions.”
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering nearly 120 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.