Duke Energy has announced a $1 million contribution to support student scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The scholarship funds will be added to an existing Duke Energy scholarship endowment fund.
The new investment will allow the university to award up to 25 scholarships each year to deserving STEM and business majors while funding student research activities.
"We thank Duke Energy and our many other donors for helping students in STEM prepare for viable careers that are in high demand," said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University. "We are raising the bar in STEM education by delivering market-driven programs in emerging fields such as cyber security, robotics, bioinformatics, analytics and renewable energy."
Many of the students at Johnson C. Smith University face significant financial barriers that result in gaps between the aid they receive and the total cost of their college education. Duke Energy's scholarship funds are a crucial part of a larger goal to increase financial aid support.
"Every dollar we contribute to education is an investment in the future of our state," said Stick Williams, president, Duke Energy Foundation. "We are proud to support programs that help encourage, engage and excite students about energy, math and science. Our partnership with Johnson C. Smith University is laying the foundation for our future leaders."
At a ceremony, the university celebrated the building of its new science center as the final steel beam was hoisted by a crane into place on top of the four-story structure.
The 62,000-square-foot science center is slated for completion in early 2015 and will be the tallest building on campus. The science center will enable the College of STEM to increase admission from 300 to 450 students by 2016.
The Center for Renewable Energy is located within the university's new science center. It will be named for Duke Energy.