February 1, 2015

Johnson C. Smith awarded $35 million


Ronald L. Carter

Ronald L. Carter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte is getting a $35 million grant from The Duke Endowment, one of the biggest gifts ever to a historically black college or university, and the Endowment's biggest gift ever to the school.

The grant includes $25 million to build a science center to support the school's science, technology, engineering and mathematics program; $5.5 million to renovate Duke Hall, a residence hall; and $4.5 million for scholarships to support international students, as well as students majoring in science and technology, visual and performing arts, and social work.

Johnson C. Smith is "exceeding goals for enrollment and retention rates, and more highly-qualified students are attending," and the grant will boost plans to make the school even stronger, Neil Williams, chair of the Endowment's board of trustees, says in a statement.

Ronald L. Carter, the school's president, says in statement that the grant will help Johnson C. Smith move closer toward its goal of becoming Charlotte's "premier urban university" and make it a top producer of African Americans in science and technology.

"This historic gift will help ensure that the University attracts some of the brightest students in the United States and from abroad," he says.

Formed in 1924, The Duke Endowment supports higher education, health care, rural churches and children's services in the Carolinas, and has awarded nearly $2.8 billion in grants since its inception.

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith offers a liberal-arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to nearly 1,500 students.

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