Norfolk State University is one of 11 Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) to benefit from Dominion Energy’s $35 million “HBCU Promise” initiative as part of the company’s efforts to support African American and underrepresented minority students.
Dominion Energy announced the initiative this week in support of students who attend HBCUs in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. The program will provide $25 million in funding to select institutions. In addition, Dominion Energy will establish a $10 million scholarship fund to support African American and underrepresented minority students across the company’s service territory.
“This fall, Norfolk State University will celebrate its 85th year as a higher education institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston. “This generous gift will support our mission to educate and develop the next generation of thought leaders, community organizers, researchers, business leaders, artists and educators who will join in the fight for equality, social justice and scientific advancement that will improve the quality of life for all people.”
Dr. Adams-Gaston said the funding would be used to support access, affordability, student success and development opportunities for NSU students. Some of the opportunities being considered include STEM and national summer research grants, a symposium on energy equity, student internship support and cybersecurity initiatives. The grant will also support clean air and environmental research for faculty and students, Adams-Gaston said.
NSU has a longstanding partnership with Dominion. The company has provided grants to expand green technology education on campus, nanotechnology, and most recently, support for NSU’s Center for African American Public Policy.
The Dominion initiative builds on nearly four decades of support for higher education equity, including volunteer efforts and financial contributions provided to historically black colleges and universities in the company’s operating territory.
Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, provided the following statement:
“We all know there are no actions or words that will immediately heal the hurt caused by 400 years of institutional racism. But since early June, we have seen signs of change and growth. Our country is moving forward. We are moving forward, too. This initiative is a recognition of the important role played by these institutions in African American advancement and the importance of education as an equalizer in society. These institutions have been foundational in the struggle to improve the lives of African Americans and in the fight for social justice. We are pleased and humbled to build on our company’s nearly 40-year history of supporting historically black colleges and universities.”
The new program is in addition to a recent $5 million commitment made by Dominion Energy and the company’s charitable foundation to support social justice, community reconciliation and rebuilding.