Howard University Awards Honorary Doctorate to Oracle CEO and Founder Ellison
Just months after pledging a $2 million gift of 4,000 network computers and printers to be installed in Howard University’s 12 undergraduate dormitories, Larry J. Ellison, CEO and founder of the Oracle Corp., was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Washington, D.C.-based university.
Howard University officials held a special convocation for Ellison at its Armour J. Blackburn University Center late last month. Frank Savage, chair of the Howard University trustee board; former U.S. Rep. and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, a Howard trustee; and other Howard trustees participated in the convocation.
University President H. Patrick Swygert announced that the university is establishing a strategic partnership with Oracle, the world’s leading supplier of software for information and database management.
“It’s most important that people who are not yet at Howard see that you’re here and have access to the Internet so that you can mentor them,” Ellison told the convocation audience.
The partnership got under way last spring when Ellison, who was touring the Howard campus, pledged to donate 4,000 network computers to be installed in the student dorm rooms in the campus residence halls. Swygert confirmed that two halls have already been outfitted with the computers, which are touted as an alternative to the traditional desktop PC. He noted that the school has received shipments of the network computers, which are to be installed over the next year.
Swygert also announced that the Oracle partnership includes the school’s outreach effort with 12 community-based organizations in the LeDroit Park neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Howard campus. More than 200 network computers will be installed in the community groups’ facilities, according to Howard officials.
The partnership will encompass student internships with Oracle, faculty and Oracle employee exchanges, and Oracle recruitment of graduating Howard students.
“We want Oracle to be able to recruit and find the talent it needs at Howard,” Swygert says.
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