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    Google Expands its $1 Million Investment in Morehouse CollegeWith Addition of New Google Annex Classroom

    May 14, 2024
    After partnering with the UNCF last fall to contribute $1 million to Morehouse College for the construction of a new Student Center, Google has made another investment in teaching and learning at the nation’s only historically Black liberal arts institution dedicated to educating and developing men. Google has opened a new Google Annex classroom at Morehouse College.
    The creative space, which features upgraded technology systems and state-of-the-art learning spaces, will be a hub for innovation.
    "We are thrilled to deepen our commitment to Morehouse College with the addition of the new Google Annex,” said Melonie Parker, Google’s Chief Diversity Officer. “This expansion will provide even more opportunities for talented students to develop the skills they need to thrive in the tech industry." 
    The Google Annex classroom at Morehouse has been outfitted with new computers, printers, and furniture and will be a space for students to develop entrepreneurial interests as they explore careers in technology. Google will support instruction and provide ongoing networking opportunities for students. 
    “Google and Morehouse College have a shared commitment to improving academic opportunities and access to careers for diverse talent in tech,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., President of Morehouse College. “The addition of a Google Annex at Morehouse will provide students with a high-tech learning space that will allow them to develop creative ideas and advance as leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in computer science and emerging technologies. We thank Google for their generous gift.”
    A Google employee and Morehouse College alumnus who has served as a visiting Google in Residence Professor at Morehouse has been instrumental in upgrading the learning space as a Google Annex. Ernest Holmes, a 2019 graduate and co-founder of the nonprofit CodeHouse, which has exposed thousands of middle and high school students to careers in tech and provided more than $2 million scholarships to HBCU students, will continue to mentor computer science majors at Morehouse after the Annex opens.
    “One thing that the computer science department at Morehouse College was missing was a place to innovate and collaborate,” said Holmes, a technical program manager at Google who now supports the  Google in Residence  program. “This new room will have top-of-the-line technology to allow the computer science students to work together on technical projects and entrepreneurial ideas.”
    The contribution is in addition to the more than $50 million that Google has invested in recent years to elevate computer science talent at HBCUs. Google’s contributions have also supported the development of technical infrastructure necessary for in-class and remote learning, as well as 21-st century curriculum and career support programs for students pursuing career opportunities in the tech industry.
    Google’s commitment to investing in the future of tomorrow’s leaders and innovators is directly addressing the diversity gap in tech. While the Black population comprises 12 percent of the U.S. workforce, only 8 percent of employees in tech jobs are Black, national studies show. Morehouse’s new Google Annex will foster career exploration in computer science.
    “My hope is that STEM majors and non-STEM majors alike will see this new laboratory of innovation as a place they belong and desire to be,” said Dr. Alfred Watkins, Department Chair of Computer Science at Morehouse College. “We set very high expectations for our Morehouse scholars, and they deserve to work in environments that will fuel their ingenuity, foster collaboration, and help them manifest their big, hairy, audacious goals.”  
    Over the last three years, Google investments have focused on creating a more equitable playing field  for everyone within the company and the tech industry. In 2021, Google announced a $50 million grant for 10 HBCUs to enhance each institution's competitiveness in computer science technology, provide professional development opportunities for computer science faculty to innovate the curriculum, and prepare students for careers in the industry, specifically at Google, to help fund scholarships, and to invest in infrastructure to support in-class and remote learning.
    Google has also funded and constructed a similar Google Annex enrichment space at North Carolina Agricultural and Technology University (NC A&T). 

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