N.C. A&T State University gets $5.5 million gift from Corning Inc.

The money was donated to prepare students for careers in STEM and education.

The donations keep coming for North Carolina A&T State University.

Less than a month after getting a $45 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the nation’s largest HBCU recently announced a $5.5 million gift from Corning Inc.

The money will be used to “prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and education,” the school said on its website.

The donation signals the start of a five-year partnership between the school and Corning.

More specifically, Corning’s donation will:

  • provide $3.3 million in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields, with the hope of graduating and producing more Black teachers. Scholarship recipients will come from school districts in regions where Corning operates, with plans to return to teach in those districts after graduation.
  • provide $1.7 million to build career preparedness and pre-college initiatives through internships, career treks, site visits and other areas. Students will participate in project competitions, mentorships and networking opportunities with Corning leaders.
  • provide $500,000 for A&T’s Equity in Education Initiative (E²I), which focuses on increasing the number of Black college graduates who are entering the nation’s workforce. Walmart invested $5 million last year to fund the initiative. Two initiatives under the E²I will receive $250,000 each: The Leadership Cohort Initiative in the College of Engineering and the Black Male Initiative in the Deese College of Business and Economics.

Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said A&T is “deeply grateful” for the gift.

Corning, which is based in Corning, N.Y., employs more than 4,000 people in North Carolina.

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Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager of Corning’s Optical Communications business, said some of the company’s most successful leaders are N.C. A&T graduates.

 “We believe education is the most transformative force in our communities. This new Corning Scholar program will help NC A&T continue to attract the best students and help fuel Corning with the diverse talent needed for another 170 years of life-changing innovation,” he said in a statement.

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Jonathan Limehouse
Jonathan is a former QCity Metro reporter who covered Charlotte neighborhoods north of uptown. He also reported on education, public safety and health.

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