We welcome the first cohort to our scholarships and career training for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
When Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard University, sat down for a press interview last year to discuss the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like Howard—101 institutions across the country that were established before the civil rights movement to serve the African-American community—he didn’t mince words. “HBCUs are an essential part of the fabric of higher education because of the contribution they make to diversifying so many fields,” he said, adding, “It’s a danger to the national interest not to invest in these institutions.”
Morgan Stanley believes such investment is critical as well, which is why we launched the Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars, an integrated program to strategically engage with and support HBCUs. The program provides full scholarships for HBCU students at Howard University, Morehouse College and Spelman College and is also designed to support their career skills and readiness to help set them on a life-long path to success.
As an initial investment, Morgan Stanley has provided five academic and needs-based four-year scholarships at each institution for the next four years; a new class of scholars will be added each year for a class size of 60 by the fourth year. The scholarships will cover the entire cost of attending the institution for each academic year and will be open to students across all disciplines and majors. Additionally, the firm will provide a career-readiness program, to HBCU scholars, with virtual and on-site components, to complement their on-campus curriculum. The goal is to prepare them to succeed in whatever endeavor they choose, though opportunities at Morgan Stanley will be available to them.
“Commit to Diversity & Inclusion is a core value at Morgan Stanley, and this program exhibits our relentless drive to make tangible progress in the makeup of our workforce,” says Chairman and CEO James Gorman. “This talent pipeline starts with education, and supporting students as they prepare to enter the workforce, whatever their careers may be, is a key area of focus for the firm. We look forward to partnering closely with HBCU faculty and students to support rising talent in an effective and meaningful way.”
This spring, we welcomed our first cohort of 15 HBCU Scholars, who joined us for a virtual reception to celebrate their accomplishments and to share their hopes and dreams. They included Matthew Margerum from Cleveland, who plans to earn a bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in acting from Howard’s newly established Chadwick A. Boseman Conservatory, and A’miyah Adams, a Philadelphia native who will major in psychology at Spelman.
Said Maia Patterson, who hails from Orlando, FL, and has set her sights on a degree in political science from Howard, “What I most look forward to is the legacy I will be inheriting and the chance to study with students who look like me but have completely different backgrounds and cultures.”
The initiative was developed by Morgan Stanley’s newly established Institute for Inclusion and is a part of the firm’s larger mission to create an integrated, holistic and transparent diversity and inclusion strategy, both internally and externally.
“To close the racial wealth gap, we know that Black academic and economic advancement is essential. Racial inequity around access to, and affordability of, higher education can impact Black students’ ability to grow generational wealth, says Susan Reid, Morgan Stanley’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to lead the way in leveling the playing field, while creating an environment for students of color to thrive. We are proud to support them and their students and we look forward to this deeper journey with Spelman, Morehouse and Howard.”