Cisco Donation Funds Scholarships, IT Improvements at UNCF SchoolsRALEIGH, N.C.
The United Negro College Fund has announced a $1.8 million grant from Cisco Systems Inc., a leading computer networking equipment manufacturer, to provide hardware to UNCF’s 39 member colleges and universities and to establish a scholarship program for students attending select schools.
The grant includes a $300,000 commitment to establish the Cisco/UNCF University Scholars Program. The program provides two-year scholarships ($4000 per year) to students entering their junior year, who have a minimum 3.2 GPA and are pursuing a degree in electrical engineering or computer science. Students from 29 UNCF and non-UNCF colleges and universities across the country are eligible to apply. The first group of Cisco/UNCF scholars includes students from public HBCUs, such as North Carolina A&T State University and Morgan State University.
The grant is part of UNCF’s Technology Enhancement Capital Campaign that was launched in March 2000 to strengthen the technology capacities of UNCF’s member institutions by bolstering software, hardware, training and faculty development, and technical support.
“This exciting partnership with Cisco will help bolster the capability and performance of our schools’ networks and will elevate their systems to levels that are required for research institutions,” says William H. Gray III, president and CEO of UNCF.
As part of Cisco’s grant to UNCF, 50 Cisco Catalyst 4840 switches were donated and installed at all 39 UNCF member schools, which are valued at $1.5 million. These 4840 catalyst switches provide substantial upgrades in capability and performance to the member institutions’ computer network systems.
“We are pleased to be supporting the United Negro College Fund through the Cisco/UNCF Scholars Program. Through the Scholars Program, Cisco will provide UNCF the financial support and equipment necessary to assist in developing the next generation of Information Technology leaders,” says John Morgridge, Cisco Systems, Inc. board chairman.
The Cisco/UNCF Scholars Program is part of Cisco’s efforts to support information technology education worldwide. The centerpiece of Cisco’s support is the Cisco Networking Academy Program, which employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web- and skills-based, instructor-led learning and hands-on exercises to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Currently, more than 265,000 students are enrolled in more than 9400 Networking Academies in 142 countries around the world. The curriculum is available in nine languages.
Cisco Networking Academies are established in high schools, higher education institutions, military bases, work-force retraining centers, juvenile detention centers and homeless shelters.
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