VT's Largest Ever Scholarship Gift: $15M for Minorities in Engineering

Sep 6, 2017

Virginia Tech is looking to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in its engineering department over the next 5 years, thanks to the largest scholarship gift –ever – to the university.  Robbie Harris has more.

The Engineering scholarships are aimed specifically at supporting students from backgrounds whose presence at schools including Virginia Tech, doesn’t match their numbers in the population as a whole.  That includes, African Americans, Latinos, and native Americans., But in engineering that also means women. The New Dean of Engineering, Julia Ross says fostering diversity will help not only this group of students but the also, the profession as a whole to move forward.

“To the extent that can really diversify the experiences that people are bringing to the table, we’re going to get better ideas. We’re going to have more creative solutions and we need that.  We need every smart, creative mind working on the problems that we need to solve.”

The scholarship for program for underrepresented minorities in Engineering at Virginia Tech was created by the late, D.C. area building magnate, James Clark. His 15-Million-dollar,  A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation endowment is expected to support 40 engineering scholarships at Tech in perpetuity.  The foundation has set up similar projects at George Washington University, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt.