Delaware State University announced two grants Tuesday, one from NASA and another for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The $5-million award from NASA will support the school’s renowned optics program, including a project connected to NASA’s Mars mission.
The school has a long-standing relationship to NASA’s work on the Red Planet, dating back to a 2011 exploration campaign. The grant comes as Delaware State seeks to enhance its reputation as a leader in the optics field. Just last month the school unveiled a multi-million-dollar facility to house its optics program, and hopes to erect a companion facility in the near future.
On Tuesday the school also announced a partnership with the Gates Foundation that will focus on first-generation college students. The $1.2-million grant will help the school collect and analyze data drawn from a new individualized mentoring tool that was rolled out this fall.
The Gates money arrives just over a month after Delaware State received $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to bolster its supports for low-income and first-generation students.