Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, has donated $3 million to Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh to fund 20 full-ride scholarships, the school announced.
Like other full scholarships, RMU’s Next Century Scholarships will cover all college expenses including room, board, and books, and will go to selected students entering the university in fall 2021. The scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing careers in technology or mathematics. Students can choose from among programs such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and actuarial science.
NEWS | Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings will give $3 million to Robert Morris University to fund 20 full scholarships beginning with students entering RMU in the fall of 2021.
— Robert Morris University (@RMU) January 26, 2021
The Next Century Scholarships are open to RMU students hailing from underrepresented communities who “demonstrate a commitment to empowering members of underrepresented groups,” the university said.
How the Scholarship Will Help Students
So far, RMU has selected eight programs that applicants can choose from to apply for the scholarship. The programs were selected keeping in mind the job market in these fields.
“Nobody can know what the future holds but we are quite sure these are the academic programs that will lead to professional careers which will greatly impact our society,” RMU President Chris Howard said.
Recipients will participate in summer bridge programs, undergraduate research, and internship opportunities. They will also be expected to earn a business-related certificate from among several offered by the university, including entrepreneurship, sales, and logistics. Finally, students will also get the opportunity to meet with Hastings.
Previous Donations to Higher-Ed
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, made the largest ever individual contribution last year to two historically black colleges and the United Negro College Fund, donating a whopping $120 million in scholarships.
Each institution received $40 million from the massive contribution. Spelman College used the funding to provide full scholarships to 20 undergraduate students annually.
“We hope this $120 million donation will help more Black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions, the couple said.
Reed and Quillin have now joined the likes of billionaire philanthropists such as MacKenzie Scott and tech giant Apple, whose sizable donations to HBCUs and struggling educational institutions made headlines in the last several months.