2022 Year in Review • Portfolio Overview

Engineering Initiatives

The Clark Foundation’s Engineering Initiatives portfolio aims to increase affordability, access to and completion of undergraduate degree programs for students with financial need. Our investments are grounded in the belief that students typically underrepresented in engineering can succeed in top-tier programs with targeted support that goes beyond financial aid.

Clark Scholars

The Foundation’s signature Clark Scholars Program (CSP) fulfills Mr. Clark’s desire to open up opportunities for undergraduate engineering students by providing financial assistance, mentorship, and leadership development.

The CSP has demonstrated to top-tier engineering programs at 11 universities that underrepresented students can succeed in rigorous programs with targeted support that goes beyond financial aid. With its unique combination of financial support and dedicated faculty advising, the CSP focuses not only on developing engineering students, but cultivating future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in the engineering field.

Clark Scholars complete business courses, engage in leadership development and participate in community service with the goal of emerging as well-rounded graduates, ready to excel professionally and contribute to their communities.

Clark Scholars Program UNIVERSITIES
  • Duke University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Virginia
Mid-Atlantic Clark Scholars Regional Gathering

The Clark Foundation hosted its first-ever regional gathering this October, providing Clark Scholars across universities a chance to connect and learn more about the purpose of the program and Mr. Clark’s story. Clark Scholars and alumni from Duke University, George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and Virginia Tech built community through professional development activities, team building competitions, bowling and more.

Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC)

The Foundation invested $1.5 million in the creation of the Institute for Dual Degree Engineering Advancement (IDEA) at AUCC expanding current programmatic offerings and creating multiple pathways to an engineering degree for historically underserved students.

The AUCC and IDEA aim to improve the success rate of transfer students pursuing four-year engineering degrees, expand access to dual-degree engineering programs, increase the placement of students in undergraduate research programs, improve student readiness for engineering coursework by supporting a rich summer bridge experience, and make it possible for more high-potential, underrepresented students to enroll in master’s and doctorate engineering degree programs.

University of Maryland

The Clark Foundation’s landmark $219.5 million commitment to the University of Maryland (UMD) in 2017, Building Together, is the largest grant in the university’s history, and among the largest to a public research institution in the 21st century. This transformative investment in Mr. Clark’s alma mater is intended to establish UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering as a global leader in education and research. Since the commitment, the Foundation has invested in an array of endowed scholarship programs and professorships, capital projects, and other operational initiatives. At scale, about 400 UMD students will receive scholarship support each year, in perpetuity.

The E. A. Fernandez IDEA Factory

The Clark Foundation invested $35 million in the IDEA Factory, which opened to the public in August 2022. This space on the UMD campus serves as a hub aimed to address society’s grand challenges, and promote the values, skills and experiences inherent to great problem-solvers.

Stanley R. Zupnik Hall

The Foundation’s investments also supported the new Stanley R. Zupnik Hall, which will house programs of the Clark School of Engineering including space where students can learn about Mr. Clark’s legacy and contribution to their education. Zupnik Hall will foster exchanges among engineering disciplines by bringing together the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Quantum Technology Center, and the Maryland Transportation Institute under the same roof. It will feature collaborative space for institutional and business partners, interdisciplinary research labs, instructional labs, a seminar classroom, offices, conference and meeting spaces, and space for student organizations.

Maryland Promise Program Growth

Funded by the Clark Foundation, the University of Maryland, and individual donors, the Maryland Promise Program (MPP) endowment will grow to $100 million to support need-based scholarships in perpetuity. The MPP provides educational and financial opportunities to promising undergraduate students of all majors from the state of Maryland and Washington, DC who exhibit strong academic and leadership potential. The MPP has grown from eight students in the first cohort in 2019 to support over 120 Maryland Promise Scholars in fall 2022.