About 100 students and faculty members gathered in Xavier University’s ballroom to highlight
a grant given to Dillard University, Xavier University and Tulane University. Carnegie Corporation of
New York committed $14 million to help the city of New Orleans rebuild and invest in strategic planning.
The foundation awarded grants of $2 million to Dillard University, $5 million to Tulane University, and $4 million to Xavier University. The funds will be used to focus on development, retention and hiring of displaced and new faculty, recruitment of new students, and ensuring the availability of financial aid. Andrew Carnegie created Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1911 to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.”
The grants are one of the largest commitments of private funds to support higher education. As a grant making foundation, the corporation will continue to invest more than $85 million this year in non-profit to fulfill Carnegie’s mission. With the funds from Carnegie Corporation, Dillard University will recruit 17 faculty members in three areas: education and psychological studies, social sciences and humanities. Dr. Marvalene Hughes, Dillard University president, announced her gratitude for the Carnegie Corporation’s donation at a press conference prior to the student conference held in Xavier’s ballroom.
“Twice as many faculty positions have been made available as a result of Carnegie’s generosity,” said Hughes. “We will take our resources and continue to use them responsibly. Out of the challenges we do encounter opportunities. The forced opportunities have made us know the value and strength of Dillard University.”
Dr. Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation said, “Today more than ever, New Orleans needs to prepare students to think conceptually and perform competently in business and the professions, to contribute to the city’s long term economic viability.”
The three institutions are seeing strength in numbers by the enrollment of the freshman classes. Dillard enrolled 260 freshmen in August, Xavier has a freshman class of 671 students and Tulane’s freshman class includes 1,332.
Tulane will use the donation from the Carnegie fund for renewal efforts, which include dedication to building a world-class educational and research institution, with emphasis on understanding the growth in the city’s urban communities. Dr. Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University expressed his excitement toward Tulane’s partnership with Dillard and Xavier, since they are both Historically Black Colleges and/or Universities.
“It is through these partnerships that we can create the dream for New Orleans,” said Cowen. “New Orleans universities are playing an unprecedented role in the recovery of the city in a manner never before expected of institutions of higher education.”
The $4 million grant to Xavier University will allow the university to recruit new and retain current faculty while keeping the availability of adequate financial aid. Warren Bell, associate vice president with university and media relations, said that the university will use the funds for an even better and continuous growing institution.
In discussion about how the schools were selected to receive the funding, Gregorian said, “The schools were selected the old fashion way… on judgment, discernment and record. I have dealt with Dillard, Xavier, and Brown universities our goal is to increase the minority PhDs.”
Teach for America was also a recipient of a $1 million grant. Kina O’ Jones was present to receive the grant on behalf of the organization.
“We have 125 teachers teaching across the region,” said O’Jones.
“The grant will help the organization to triple the size of it New Orleans teachers in the next three years.” Gregorian wanted to leave the students with a special message to assist them in their futures. “Don’t confuse jobs with careers. A Job is to make a living; a career is what makes living. Don’t cheat yourself from learning.”