Photo: Howard’s KARSH STEM Scholars Program participants. Courtesy: Howard U.

Howard University has announced plans to invest in its STEM programs, following a $10 million gift from the Karsh Family Foundation. It is the largest gift the institution has received in its 153-year history.

Howard’s Bison STEM Scholars program — an initiative founded in 2017 to increase the number of minority students earning STEM M.D.s, Ph.D.s, or a combination of the two — will be renamed the Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP). The program admits about 30 new students each year, all of whom are awarded full scholarships, in addition to internships and opportunities to study abroad.

The funds will also be used to create a new program called the Lomax KIPP Scholarship, described by the university as a “unique, debt-free financial aid program” for graduates of the nation-wide KIPP program, which represents a network of high performing public schools in educationally underserved communities. The scholarship is named after Michael L. Lomax, CEO, and President of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). It will cover costs left outstanding after financial aid for two KIPP graduates enrolled at Howard. 

“We are excited to endow this visionary program at Howard,” donors Martha and Bruce Karsh said in a statement.

“Simply put, we believe education, expertise, and research in STEM fields will define mankind’s future, and we are proud to be able to help Howard attract and support the best and brightest students for its already renowned program.”

Students have until Feb. 15 to apply for the KIPP scholarship. The deadline to apply for the KSSP scholars’ program is Jan. 30.