FAMU has received a $50,000 grant in direct emergency funding support from the Vanguard Group, a global investment firm.
The money will help to ensure that students and faculty have access to virtual learning tools, mental health support, and tuition assistance. FAMU was one of five HBCUs to receive the support. Vanguard also contributed $100,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s COVID-19 HBCU Emergency Fund, of which FAMU is a member.
These are difficult times, significant gaps in philanthropy and a lack of adequate technological infrastructure and internet access, combined with substantial economic hardship for students and their families, have hindered the ability of many HBCUs to pivot to large-scale virtual learning opportunities.
“Vanguard understands the important role historically Black colleges and universities play in educating some of our nation’s most promising students, and we are dedicated to providing the resources necessary to ensure these vital institutions are given the opportunity to grow and thrive,” said Crystal Hardie Langston, Vanguard’s chief diversity officer.
Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., Vice President for University Advancement, said at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vanguard team reached to find out how the University was being impacted and to explore ways of assisting. As an existing strategic partner, Vanguard was already providing career development opportunities and curricular enhancements for FAMU students and academic programs, said Friday-Stroud, who is also dean of the School of Business and Industry (SBI).