Howard U. receives $10M donation to fund STEM scholarships

The donation from Karsh Family Foundation will fund full scholarships and educational opportunities for students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM.

More scholarships in science and technology will be offered to students at Howard University, the private Washington D.C. university announced Wednesday, thanks to a $10 million donation — the largest in Howard University’s more than 150-year history.

Gifted by the the Karsh Family Foundation — whose mission is to support educational equity and opportunity — the endowment will fund full scholarships, research internships, opportunities to study abroad and professional mentoring for about 30 students to earn their Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math subjects. The funds will also be used to create new scholarships for graduates of the Knowledge is Power Program, a nationwide network of high performing public schools in underserved communities.

“Thanks to this generous gift, the Karsh STEM Scholars Program will realize its full potential to cultivate a workforce pipeline of talented students from underrepresented communities who are well equipped to become leaders in the global STEM community,” KSSP program director Ronald Smith, said in a statement.

Between 2013 and 2017, Howard University awarded 130 science and engineering doctoral degrees — the most of any historically black college or university — according to data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and subsequently has contributed significantly to black students’ increased attainment of advanced degrees in STEM.


“When we created this program, with the support of the Board of Trustees, we envisioned building a model program to demonstrate how higher education can serve as a pipeline to diversify STEM fields nationally, but we knew it wouldn’t be sustainable without external resources,” Howard University President Wayne Frederick said in a press release. “This gift will ensure that Howard can train the nation’s brightest students who desire to obtain their Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. for generations to come.”

Since 1988, the Karsh Family Foundation has committed more than $200 million for education and scholarships.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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