Tallahassee – Florida A&M University is one of three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who each received $1.35 million from bp to provide students with scholarship funding, exposure to the energy industry, and career development experience.
As part of bp’s new HBCU Fellowship Program, FAMU, North Carolina A&T University, and Prairie View A&M University will each receive $1.35 million, covering five full scholarships per year at each school for three years – a total of 45 full scholarships during that period. Students who successfully complete the program will be provided with opportunities for additional development, including internships.
“I want to commend bp for crafting a program that complements our goal to prepare the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business executives for this key industry,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “This partnership will provide Florida A&M University students with internships, scholarships and, ultimately career opportunities allowing them to prosper while addressing important challenges that we face as a society.”
The donation builds on bp’s aim for greater diversity, equity and inclusion for its workforce and customers. The company has taken steps in recent years to develop a global framework for action to guide its efforts in the areas of talent, accountability, and transparency. As a result, it has launched gender and minority ambitions and designed programs supporting the development of ethnic minority talent.
“Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion goes beyond just words,” said Dave Lawler, bp America chairman and president. “It’s our actions that define us, and this program will help us develop a consistent pipeline of talent for the future. This is another example of how we’re driving change across bp and building a culture that gives everyone an opportunity to succeed.”
The three universities are part of bp’s talent acquisition portfolio, and the company has successfully recruited talent from each school.
“We need the best and the brightest talent as we transform our company,” said Mark Crawford, bp’s senior vice president, global diversity, equity and inclusion. “We are thrilled to work with these great universities and provide students with an opportunity to earn a degree while giving them real-world experience in the exciting and evolving energy sector.”
Specific, consistent criteria for student selection was created and agreed upon by bp and the selected universities. Scholarships will be open to all U.S. students on each campus who have an interest in the energy sector, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and are in good standing.
Applications for the program will open in the first quarter of 2023, with students notified in April of a final decision. A committee consisting of university faculty will select the final recipients with input from bp.
Vice President for University Advancement Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., and President Robinson were among those who hosted a bp delegation to the FAMU Tallahassee campus in January. She said the initiative reflects the strong ongoing relationship between bp, FAMU and other HBCUs.
“The HBCU Fellowship Program reflects what a constructive partnership between a university and corporate America should look like,” said Friday-Stroud, who is also dean of the School of Business and Industry and executive director of the FAMU Foundation. “This shows bp understands the needs, talents and aspirations of our students and graduates. We are very excited for our students.”