Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced a $5.7 million grant from the Duke Endowment to support new programs and bolster the school's efforts to increase the number of high-performing students on campus.
The gift to JSCU — one of four institutions of higher education to benefit annually from the endowment's philanthropy — will support Metropolitan College, a new program launched in August for non-traditional students and working adults, and will help fund the Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development, which was established to bridge the gap between JCSU and the Charlotte community by providing an opportunity for JCSU faculty and students to work with community leaders to identify and ameliorate community issues through research and active problem solving. The gift also will be used to increase the quality of enrolled students at the school; retain more students through graduation; and better prepare students for graduate school enrollment and fulfilling careers.
Neil Williams, a trustee of the endowment, announced the grant during the school's recent Leadership Lecture. "The Duke Endowment's founder, James B. Duke, was an innovative philanthropist who saw great promise for this university," Williams said. "This grant honors Mr. Duke's vision for Johnson C. Smith and affirms the importance that he placed on higher education."