WASHINGTON – Howard University is pleased to announce a $4 million gift from the Hopper-Dean Foundation to fund the Bison STEM Scholars Program (BSSP). The generous gift will provide 10 computer science or computer engineering students with a full-ride scholarship for four years. In addition to eliminating the financial burden for students, the gift will support the expansion of Howard’s STEM education program. The gift marks Howard’s largest gift received from a foundation to date.
“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. “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.”
In 2017, under the leadership and vision of President Frederick, Howard University launched BSSP to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who earn a Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. in a STEM discipline. Each student has gone through a rigorous interview process and was hand-selected among the best and brightest scholars in the nation. The Hopper-Dean Foundation, a California nonprofit supported by Jeffrey Dean and Heidi Hopper, is partnering with Howard to address racial and gender disparity in STEM fields by removing the socioeconomic barriers to pursuing Ph.D.s and other advanced research degrees. The Hopper-Dean Bison STEM Scholars will receive a scholarship that covers 100 percent of the tuition and fees associated with attending the University and participating in the program.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
Each year, the program accepts a cohort of 30 scholars enrolled in programs within the College of Engineering and Architecture and the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30 each semester, Bison STEM scholars are required to meet with a professional mentor, participate in summer research internships, study abroad and complete the summer bridge program for incoming freshmen. Upon graduation, the scholars will pursue careers in research, policy development or leadership roles related to STEM.
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About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 24 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.