Another Big STEM Diversity Give, This One Backed By Hedge Fund Wealth

Diversifying the pool of STEM students and workers across the country is an especially hot funding area of late, as we’ve reported. In one recent gift I wrote about, private equity billionaire Robert Smith gave $50 million to his alma mater Cornell to fund scholarships and fellowships for groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering and technology.

Meanwhile, we’ve written about a long list of corporate funders, particulary tech companies, that are giving money for STEM diversity, with an eye on future workforce needs.

Of course, institutions like Cornell aren’t the only place where this type of work can occur. Consider historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), of which there are over 100. While HBCUs only produce 16 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by African-Americans according to one source, these schools allot for around 22 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields earned by black students.

Not too long ago, Apple partnered with Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and committed $40 million over four years to create a database of computer science majors at HBCUs, provide training for both students and faculty, and create scholarships.

Source: Inside Philanthropy