BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Baltimore investor, business leader and philanthropist Larry E. Jennings, Jr., along with Katherine Jennings, have donated $2 million to support the Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science (SAMS) at Carnegie Mellon University. The program provides rigorous, college preparatory STEM courses for six weeks on CMU’s campus with a goal of providing opportunities for students historically underrepresented in STEM fields.
Larry Jennings is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduate and graduate business schools and a member of the school’s board of trustees. He and his family have been longtime advocates of SAMS, which completed its 17th year this summer. Jennings said he decided to make this donation to ensure the long-term stability of the program. Of the $2 million, $1.5 million will be used to create an endowment and $500,000 will be earmarked for current use.
“I am proud to support educational opportunities in math and science for diverse students with the potential to change and improve our world,” Jennings said. “Carnegie Mellon has created an outstanding program and with this donation I’d like to ensure its continuation for many years to come.”
Since its inception, more than 1,200 students from across the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have attended SAMS. The program focuses on providing an opportunity for students historically underrepresented in STEM fields, including women, students from low-income families, students who are the first to pursue a college degree and students of color.
"The Jennings Family Endowed Fund for the Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science has enabled CMU to expand the program's mission and build toward a sustainable future," said CMU's Vice Provost for Education Amy Burkert. "SAMS continues to positively transform students' lives, and its mission to bring more diversity to the STEM workforce is a change that will fuel innovation and benefit society as a whole."
Jennings is senior managing director and one of the founders of ValStone Partners, a private equity firm with offices in Baltimore and Birmingham, Michigan. He is a long-time supporter of educational and non-profit causes in his hometown of Baltimore. A native of Park Heights, Larry is the current Chairman of the Board of Park Heights Renaissance, an organization committed to reinvestment and revitalization of the northwest Baltimore community.
His philanthropic and volunteer efforts have also supported local organizations including: Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore School for the Arts, Baltimore Tree Trust, BEST (Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust), Boys Hope Girls Hope, Cristo Rey Jesuit School, Loyola University Maryland, Morgan State University, and Sinai Hospital.