Robert F. Smith donates $15 million to his Alma Mater Cornell University to support underserved students pursuing careers in STEM

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In addition to the funding announcement, Smith will also receive Cornell’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The achievement celebrates and recognizes former engineers who use their professional achievements to give back.

“Seriously, I am delighted to accept this price,” Smith said. “In many ways, this school made me who i am today. This taught me lessons that still guide me. So it means a lot to be invited back and honored like that.

He continued, “I chose to study at Cornell many years ago because I did my research. I learned that Ezra Cornell, Andrew Dickson White and the Alpha lore Phi Alpha, my fraternity. Their example — their courage – drew me here. That and the weather.

The new funds will begin distributing in the fall 2022 semester with a strong preference for HBCU graduates as well as graduating students from “big city urban core high schools,” according to information shared with AfroTech. Individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds and/or those who have had to overcome trials and tribulations in pursuit of their educational goals will also be given top priority when it comes to selecting recipients of the funds.

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