Five freshmen from sub-Saharan Africa will study at the University without cost, thanks to a new program sponsored by The MasterCard Foundation.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program grants scholarships to financially disadvantaged students who are academically strong and committed to supporting higher education in their home countries. The program is designed to not only help students succeed at Duke but also provide them with resources to help them succeed after college and give back to their communities.
The foundation has committed $13.5 million to the University over the next nine years, which will fund seven classes of five students. The current scholars at Duke are Olaotan Awoyomi from Nigeria, Allan Kiplagat from Kenya, Clive Mudanda from Zimbabwe and Sbusisiwe Sibeko and Tian Chan Dong from South Africa.
“Duke University is proud to have been selected by The MasterCard Foundation as a partner in this visionary program to educate Africa’s future leaders,” President Richard Brodhead said. “Our campus community welcomes the inaugural class of The MasterCard Foundation Program Scholars, and we look forward to seeing how their education at Duke will foster their intellectual and personal growth and lead them to become change agents for Africa and the world.”
The students in the program will complete summer internships focused on civic engagement in sub-Saharan Africa.
Faculty advisor Charles Piot, professor of cultural anthropology, African and African American studies and women’s studies, and the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows are working with the students to help them transition to American life.
The program, announced at a United Nations special session, is part of the Education First Initiative, which is being led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown. Duke was selected as one of the program’s initial partners due to its commitment to global education and engagement, the foundation said. Duke is one of nine universities currently involved in the program.
The contribution will count toward the University’s capital campaign, Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, wrote in an email Wednesday.