Submitted by 3M
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has received a $2.1 million gift from 3M in support of the university’s Equity in Education Initiative (E²I).
E²I is a new signature five-year program aimed at increasing the number of African American college graduates securing careers in fields critical to the nation’s workforce. The program will support undergraduate students with tailored resources and assistance as they pursue degrees in business, engineering and other professional disciplines. Including this contribution from 3M, E²I has received $7.5 million in funding.
The new investment builds on a legacy of partnership between 3M and N.C. A&T that has focused in recent years on support of the 3M Frontline Sales Internship program.
“This commitment toward North Carolina A&T’s initiative is a significant step in 3M’s efforts toward greater equity,” said James Momon, 3M’s chief equity officer. “We hope to be additive to N.C. A&T’s mission both financially and as a collaborative partner who can provide members of underrepresented groups greater access to science-based and innovative career opportunities.”
The 3M gift will be used for two initiatives housed under the E²I umbrella. The Leadership Cohort Initiative in the College of Engineering will receive $1.1 million, and the Black Male Initiative in the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics will receive the remaining $1 million.
The College of Engineering continues to earn the distinction of awarding the largest number of undergraduate engineering degrees to African Americans in the country. With an enrollment of more than 2,100 students, the college offers 10 undergraduate, eight masters and five doctoral programs.
The Deese College has the top-ranked undergraduate and graduate business programs at a public HBCU, with its online MBA program ranked No. 2 among all HBCUs.
“We are committed to producing graduates who are fully prepared to address the challenges and economic needs of our world,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “This contribution from 3M is not only an investment in the education of our students, but also a statement about the value of a diverse workforce.”
E²I features two more focus areas – Advancing Blacks in Engineering and scholarship support – along with the Leadership Cohort Initiative and the Black Male Initiative, the latter of which the Executive Leadership Council helped to shape.
Each focus area will support academic performance, enhance critical resources needed to graduate on time and with less debt burden, prepare graduates for first-destination career readiness and expand social mobility through additional economic pathways.
E²I will roll out over the course of three semesters, beginning in early 2021. Supported by Management Leadership for Tomorrow, it equips undergraduate students with tailored resources and assistance as they pursue degrees in business, engineering and other professional disciplines.
In November 2020, E²I received $5 million from Walmart to fund its launch. Corning Inc. later joined the effort with a $500,000 gift announced in January.