ORANGEBURG, S.C. (courtesy claflin.edu) — Claflin University is one of 10 higher education institutions awarded a $5 million STEM grant by Google. The funding is designed to help create pathways and opportunities for increased diverse representation in the STEM industry. The one-time unrestricted financial grant will provide Claflin with financial support for scholarships, technological infrastructure support, career readiness, and curriculum development.
Claflin is the only HBCU in South Carolina selected to participate in Google’s STEM grants program, which will provide $50 million in total grant funding. The nine other recipients include Morgan State University (Maryland), Prairie View A&M University (Texas), Spelman College (Georgia), North Carolina A&T State University (North Carolina), Florida A&M University (Florida), Tuskegee University (Alabama), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), and the nonprofits Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the United Negro College Fund that help support students attending HBCUs.
“Claflin University greatly appreciates Google’s support and transformational investment in HBCUs. The gift will enhance our commitment to providing students access to exceptional academic programs in a distinctive, culturally-diverse environment,” said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, president of Claflin University. “This grant demonstrates the strength and trajectory of Claflin’s global reputation as a leading liberal arts university with a thriving STEM agenda. These funds will also support University initiatives related to enhancing technology in the rural communities we serve.”
Graduates from Claflin’s STEM programs have launched careers with globally-prominent tech companies, conduct results-driven research at state-of-the-art laboratories, and attend prestigious graduate and professional schools.
Claflin’s Computer Science Program earned accreditation in October 2017 from the Computer Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Significantly, Claflin is one of only three private colleges or universities in the state of South Carolina with ABET accreditation. Claflin is also among very few UNCF institutions with an ABET-accredited computer science program.
“I am thrilled that Google has chosen to support one of South Carolina’s HBCUs, Claflin University,” said South Carolina State Representative and Legislative Black Caucus Chair Patricia Henegan (D-SC District 54). “This generous gift will be a game-changer for students and our state as a whole as we look to increase opportunities in the STEM industry.”
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.