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Morgan State University Announces Multi-Year Financial Technology Program With Silicon Valley-based Firm

Ripple Partners with MSU to Fund Education and Research in Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Cybersecurity and Related FinTech Disciplines  

Bolstering its position as a preeminent public urban research institution, Morgan State University (MSU) has received funding from Ripple, a leading Silicon Valley financial technology (“FinTech”) company. The funds will underwrite a five-year academic partnership bringing advanced education and research programs to the University. Morgan joins a select number of institutions now participating in Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), a global effort designed to further accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. The UBRI program fosters increased engagement and participation in FinTech among faculty and postdoctoral and graduate students.

Through the efforts of the Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech Innovation (the Center) at Morgan’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, the University’s UBRI program will encompass the development of specialized curricula, expansion of academic courses, hosting of conferences and awarding of scholarships to faculty and students pursuing work in blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital payments and related topics. The Center will also serve as a funding hub for other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) seeking to develop their own FinTech initiatives.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce the UBRI partnership with Ripple, as it further strengthens Morgan’s commitment to advancing the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and tech professionals,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “We are a modern research institution vested in innovation and critical study, and this caliber of transformative higher education is a testament to the progress of our mission. We are very proud that Morgan is among a select number of UBRI partners and the only such partner in our region.”

The UBRI program at Morgan will be housed in and administered by the Graves School in cooperation with the University’s Department of Information Science and Systems, as well as other engineering, computer science, finance and business departments. The addition of UBRI follows a number of other recent advancements within the University’s Computer Science Department and School of Engineering that included the opening of labs and research centers, among them the Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy (CAP) Center.

“Blockchain has the potential to be a disruptor in many businesses and industries, and universities must be flexible to adapt to the changing environment. Based on this premise, we plan to expand our campus-wide engagement in research and curriculum development in blockchain, cryptoeconomics, and FinTech innovation,” said Ali Emdad, Ph.D., associate dean and professor of Information Science for the Graves School. “The Center for the Study of Blockchain plays an important role in providing opportunities to the faculty and students at Morgan and at other HBCUs to push the boundaries in this exciting new space.”

Introduced in June 2018, UBRI supports 29 domestic and international university partners and has cultivated a vibrant global network of researchers and practitioners in its field.

“In less than a year, our initial UBRI partners hit the ground running with the launch of new research projects, events, course offerings and more,” said Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of Global Operations at Ripple. “Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners, including such esteemed and historic universities as Morgan, will only continue to enrich these projects.”

For more information about Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative and its partners, visit

About University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI)

UBRI is a partnership between Ripple and top universities around the world to support academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. Ripple is providing both financial and technical resources to university partners and collaborates with faculty and students on research and technical projects. UBRI launched in June 2018. Some university partners began conducting research and technical development immediately. All partner programs are expected to be underway by fall 2018.

About Morgan
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, 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

Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, University PR
(443) 885-3022

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