Dominion Energy announced recently that 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina will receive support through a $35 million initiative aimed at promoting higher education equity. The six-year “HBCU Promise” program will provide $25 million in funding to select institutions. Additionally, a $10 million scholarship fund will support African American and underrepresented minority students across the company’s service territory.
Thomas F. Farrell, II, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said Dominion Energy had been looking for a way to get involved in the nation’s current dialogue around race and social justice.
“We have all been witness to our country’s evolving conversation on race and social justice. The country is changing, and we have been looking for ways that we can make a difference. Investing in these important institutions – which serve as a springboard for social and economic mobility for so many – is one way we can help. We have actually partnered with HBCUs for nearly 40 years, offering volunteer and financial support. As I have said before, we are humbled and honored to continue supporting them with this current initiative.”
In selecting the institutions, the company looked at a range of factors, including locations with a significant customer presence, past partnerships and opportunities to make immediate impact. In structuring the partnerships, the company will focus on four general areas: operating needs, urgent capital needs, endowment and scholarships. Some details remain to be worked out. But Dominion Energy plans to tailor packages to the needs of each institution.
The schools selected in Virginia are Norfolk State University, Norfolk; Hampton University, Hampton; Virginia Union University, Richmond; and Virginia State University, Petersburg.
Schools selected in South Carolina are Allen University, Columbia; Benedict College, Columbia; Claflin University, Orangeburg; and South Carolina State University, Orangeburg.
Also selected are Central State University and Wilberforce University, both located Wilberforce, Ohio, and North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C..
Details about the Dominion Energy Educational Equity scholarship fund will be provided later.