Hampton University receives gift from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help with coronavirus testing

Hampton

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton University was one of several historically Black colleges and universities selected to receive funding for coronavirus testing supplies through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The foundation announced Tuesday that Hampton and up to nine other HBCUs will receive part of a three-year $15 million investment. A press release from the foundation didn’t say how much of that figure Hampton will receive.

Five other schools were also selected in the first wave of the investment: Florida A&M University, Howard University, Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Xavier University of Louisiana.

The funding will allow Hampton to expand its “testing hub” in partnership with The Just Project, a coronavirus testing program in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific. 29 HBCUs in total are a part of the project, which all focuses on testing those in the surrounding community.

The groups said the testing is needed due to the coronavirus’ disproportionate effects on the Black community, with Black people nearly three times as likely to live in an area with insufficient testing access compared to white people.

The news comes just months after Hampton announced it had received its largest gift in school history, $30 million, from MacKenzie Scott, an author and the ex-wife of billionaire Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. Hampton was considering using those funds for their Proton Therapy Institute, student scholarships and more.

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