Renewal of Grace Hopper Scholarships for HBU STEM Students

Houston Baptist University is pleased to announce the renewal of a new scholarship opportunity for students, recognizing a pioneer of computer science and military service, Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper, PhD, by establishing the Grace Hopper Scholarships. The second year of the scholarship is funded through a generous gift from Mr. Holly Frost and Ms. Kathaleen Wall. Mr. Frost is an entrepreneur who created one of the earliest and most successful computer memory companies.

Dr. Robert Sloan, HBU president, said, “The Grace Hopper scholarships at HBU are truly transformative. This significant scholarship support will enable talented students who have financial need to complete these programs, and ultimately, to achieve their dreams. We are grateful for the amazing generosity of Holly and Kathaleen.”

The renewal gift of $650,000 will enable HBU to support up to 130 students in high-demand STEM-related academic programs during the 2020-2021 school year. Scholarship recipients will demonstrate Dr. Hopper’s persistence, technical knowledge and selfless service as students in Computer Science, Cyber Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics at HBU. The scholarship supports qualified students during early years of their degree programs to enhance the probability of their graduation. The inaugural gift of $500,000 in 2019 supported 100 students at HBU for the 2019-2020 academic year.

“Texas is expected to see dramatic growth in technology-based companies and career opportunities over the next five to 10 years. The only way to fill these opportunities, and to ensure Texas’ position as a premier technology growth center within the US, is to encourage increased pursuit of science and engineering degrees. For Texas students to be competitive in the workforce, STEM programs at the college level are essential now more than ever. STEM-focused college programs establish an educational environment and scientific background for students to open doors to enhanced research and development opportunities in Texas. Women, traditionally underrepresented in these fields, are a natural focal point for this effort,” Kathaleen Wall said. These scholarships will be available to qualified female students of HBU who choose to pursue a technology-related degree. HBU truly exemplifies Texas excellence. It provides a well-rounded, high-quality education that attends to academic as well as spiritual learning, understanding and development. We truly hope that this effort can serve as the first step in positioning Texas for success in the future.” During the first year, one-third of the scholarships were awarded to female students.

Dr. Stanley Napper, dean of the HBU College of Science and Engineering, said, “The United States, and the Houston metro area in particular, needs more STEM graduates, especially in high-demand areas of software development, cybersecurity, analytics and other topics whose foundation lies in computer science, engineering, science and mathematics. We are grateful for this gift and the impact it makes on many capable students, as well as the future impact it will have on our community.”

The College of Science and Engineering at HBU was established in 2019 from the combination of the new College of Engineering and the long-standing College of Science and Mathematics. The College is growing rapidly in enrollment and in relevance to the Houston metro area.