South Carolina's Institutes of Innovation and Information (SCIII), an initiative and vision inspired by Sen. John L. Scott Jr., is amplifying the state's seven four-year HBCUs' through the creation of educational institutes that provide funding, resources, and access to networking partnerships with leaders in the business and philanthropic community.
The institute will help bridge the gap among students, community and industry leaders, and raise the profile of the state's HBCUs. SCIII announced that Dr. Robert Jennings, higher education executive and renowned HBCU leader, will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer of SCIII Foundation.
Dr. Jennings, who has served as president of Lincoln University, the nation's oldest degree-granting historically Black college, and Alabama A&M University, has directed an array of services to assist colleges and universities, public and charter schools, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations in management as well as philanthropic services.
His expertise includes planning and implementing successful capital campaigns, annual giving, and major gift programs, running comprehensive special events, developing high-performing programs and departments, managing conferences, developing and guiding organizations, building top-performing teams, training and optimizing boards, and overseeing strategic communications.
South Carolina’s seven HBCUs produce more than 50 percent of all Black college graduates statewide. The South Carolina General Assembly appropriated $18 million in 2021 toward the development of educational institutes at each of South Carolina's HBCUs.
Each institute was established with specific focuses and disciplines united to increase opportunities and exposure for their student bodies on campus and the surrounding community. The seven HBCUs include Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Morris College, South Carolina State University and Voorhees University.
SCIII will strengthen the participating HBCUs by building pipelines from each Institute directly to opportunities in state business and industry.