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Michael Bloomberg donates $150M to Johns Hopkins University to address lack of diversity in STEM programs

Posted at 7:45 AM, May 12, 2021

BALTIMORE — In an effort to address the lack of diversity in the science, technology, engineering and math career fields (STEM), a new Johns Hopkins Scholarship Fund will provide opportunities for 100 diverse students to pursue careers within those areas.

Philanthropist, former New York City mayor, and former Johns Hopkins University alumnus Michael Bloomberg donated $150 million dollars to his alma mater to address the lack of diversity in STEM fields.

Some summer programs will start this summer, but JHU will officially welcome the first students to take advantage of this fund in the fall of 2022.

Although Bloomberg donated the money, he gave it in honor of pioneering African American scientist, Vivien Thomas. Thomas rose up out of poverty in the Jim Crow south to become a successful scholar and instructor of surgery at JHU.

He trained generations of scientists and surgeons and his groundbreaking research in developing life saving cardiac techniques in the 1940s is still being used to this day.

The fund named in his honor will help build a path for students from historically black colleges and universities to pursue doctoral degrees in STEM.

"When President Daniels told me that they were going to be naming the program after Vivien Thomas, I was deeply moved, because it is so appropriate to have such a stellar scientist recognized, someone who has not been recognized, simply because of his race," said Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The life of Vivien Thomas was the subject of the 2004 HBO movie: "Something The Lord Made."

Each student in this program will get up to six years of full tuition paid and also a stipend, health insurance and money for travel.