NewsLocal News


FAMU receives $5M Google grant to increase STEM diversity

Posted at 12:39 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 23:23:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University is one of 10 institutions to receive a $5 million donation from Google, to help create roadways and opportunities to increase diversity in the STEM industry.

The unrestricted grant will provide the university with financial support for scholarships, career readiness, and curriculum development. FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson said the donation directly aligns with the university's mission.

"We have in our current strategic plan articulated clearly that we wanted to be a leader in STEM and presenting and providing opportunities to our students to go out into the world and make an impact in those areas," Robinson said.

Over the last three years, President Robinson, along with other HBCU presidents, held ongoing discussions with senior leadership at Google about internships and other opportunities for HBCU graduates and students.

FAMU student Stacey Renee said she's proud to attend a University deserving of such a gift and hopes it goes a long way towards helping her peers.

"I think students within the technical side of FAMU will be very grateful," said Renee, "and it will probably give them more motivation to know that a big tech company like Google is supporting an HBCU as well."

President Robinson said the funds will be available to the University as early as July.

Google's chief diversity officer, Melonie Parker, said the grant reflects the company’s commitment to diversity, especially in the tech industry.

“I’m delighted to provide our HBCU partners with a $50 million unrestricted grant. These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries,” Parker said. “This investment further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech.”

This investment builds on Google's Pathways to Tech initiative, announced earlier this year, 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.

The 10 HBCUs receiving funds include:

  • Claflin University, S.C.
  • Clark Atlanta University, Ga.
  • Florida A&M University
  • Howard University, D.C
  • Morgan State University, Md.
  • NC A&T State University, N.C.
  • Prairie View A&M University, Texas
  • Spelman College, Ga.
  • Tuskegee University, Ala.
  • Xavier University, La.