Alabama A&M gets $1.25 million from Apple as part of grants to HBCU’S

By Lee Roop 

File photo of Alabama A&M University’s campus

Historically Black Alabama A&M University in Huntsville is getting a $1.25 million Apple grant to boost its tech curriculum and send more Black graduates into cutting edge computer fields. Perhaps as significant, Apple expert collaboration is part of the package.

The money is part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, and A&M is one of four recipients splitting $5 million over three years, the university said.

The grant is specifically to help A&M and the other recipients develop silicon and hardware technologies programs working with the Apple experts. The money will support lab space, guest lectures, scholarships and fellowships, faculty training and curriculum support.

“The HBCU community is home to incredible Black talent and we are thrilled to work alongside these universities to enhance the opportunities for their students,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives in a statement. “We know many jobs of the future will be in innovative areas like silicon engineering and we want to help ensure the leaders of tomorrow have access to transformational learning opportunities.”

“As the leader in producing minority STEM graduates in Alabama and being among the top four HBCUs nationally with this designation, Alabama A&M is excited about this opportunity to partner with Apple to strengthen our engineering programs and enhance our student pipeline into the workforce,” Alabama A&M University President Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. said.

Dr. Zhengtao (ZT) Deng of A&M said, “The Apple Innovation Grant will enhance the educational objectives and student success metrics in Electrical Engineering (EE) programs here at AAMU and will provide opportunities for AAMU’s programs related to Apple’s New Silicon Initiative. We greatly appreciate Apple’s support to AAMU’s STEM education initiatives!”

Deng is a professor in A&M’s College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences.