Mike Bloomberg Donates $150M to Johns Hopkins to Advance Diversity in STEM Fields

The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative will create new opportunities for students from historically Black colleges and other minority-serving institutions to earn their Ph.D.s in STEM fields

Mike Bloomberg
David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Tuesday that it is donating $150 million to Johns Hopkins University to help expand Ph.D. programs in science, technology, engineering and math.

The donation will be used to create the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, which aims to create new pathways for students at historically Black colleges and other minority-serving institutions to receive Ph.D.s in STEM fields at the Baltimore university.

“STEM fields play an increasingly important role (…) yet STEM PhD programs don’t reflect the broad diversity of our country. So creating more equitable opportunities for more students is critical to our country’s future in so many ways,” said Mike Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The namesake of the scholarship is Vivien Thomas, who was a Black surgical laboratory supervisor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1940s.

“Through the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, Johns Hopkins now has the opportunity and imperative to invest ambitiously, think ambitiously and act ambitiously to begin correcting the longstanding inequity in Ph.D. education,” said Ronald Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.

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