Two Dayton-area universities to benefit from $25M philanthropic commitment

Dayton, Ohio – Virginia-based power utility Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) has named two local universities to its list of recipients for a $25 million philanthropic commitment designed to fund endowments, capital projects, operating expenses and educational programs that support clean energy.

Central State University and Wilberforce University have each received $500,000 from the fund, both schools announced Wednesday.

With the donation, Wilberforce purchased laptops this fall for all students and faculty to help accommodate a remote learning and teaching experience. Funding from Dominion also will help the university enhance technological support, expand STEM scholarships and launch an inaugural lecture series on racial equality.

Central State said the gift will help increase virtual learning accessibility and grow the university’s endowment scholarship funds. It will also fund the launch of a 12-week study-internship program in partnership with Dominion Energy.

“The relationship with Dominion Energy is a great example of how higher education and industry can come together to strategically address workforce development and the diversification of the talent pipeline for the energy sector,” Zillah Fluker, VP of institutional advancement at Central State, said in a release.

Dominion’s six-year, $25 million commitment was divided among 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Ohio, Virginia and the Carolinas. In addition, the company plans to launch a $10 million scholarship fund for minority students across its service area. Scholarships will be available for the upcoming school year, Dominion said.

Based in Greene County, Central State University is a regionally accredited, 1890 Land-Grant University founded more than 130 years ago. It is the No. 9 largest higher education institution in the Dayton region with more than 2,000 enrolled students, according to DBJ research.

Wilberforce University is a private, historically black university (HBCU) affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The school, located immediately across from Central State’s campus, reported enrollment of nearly 600 students this year.

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