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Robert F. Smith Gifts $15M To His Alma Mater Cornell University To Support Underserved Students Pursuing Careers In STEM

Robert F. Smith remains committed to students pursuing careers in the worlds of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). And this time, he is returning to where it all started, blessing the Cornell University College of Engineering with a generous gift. “I’m investing $15 million in the students of the College of Engineering to establish three funds here at Cornell that will help ensure diverse and historically underrepresented students get the chance to build their skills and thrive,” said Smith during an award ceremony held at his alma mater. “Thirteen million will help undergraduate and graduate students attend our university. The balance will help all of you succeed, allowing you to go to that national conference or earn that certificate. I am proud to do my part, but it is up to you to turn this funding into real value. That is what matters.”

Shanique Yates

May 13, 2022

Lack of Diversity Led Cornell Students to Create University's First Minority-Owned Investment Fund

No representation, no problem! After realizing the lack of representation at Cornell University’s top finance clubs, these two junior students decided to create a space of their own, reports Black Enterprise. Intense research and a mission to help mold the next generation of Black and brown finance leaders at the Ivy League, led students, Cheick Camara and Ermias Tadesse to discover that Black and Hispanic students make up less than five percent of the demographic at the university’s exclusive finance clubs. While the clubs were highly selective and exclusive, when Camara and Tadesse looked around the lack of inclusivity was shocking as they were the only students of color in their respective clubs. The feelings that followed left Harlem, New York native Camara feeling like an “imposter.” Tadesse — a native of Alexandria, VA — shared a similar disconnect within the organization. Together, they then created Cornell’s first minority-owned investment fund, BlackGen Capital, in November...

Shanique Yates

Jan 7, 2021