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Recently, Howard University announced Autodesk had donated $1 million to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. According to the historically Black college, it was the largest-ever unrestricted gift to the department.

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Howard University’s statement said the gift would help the MechE department expand its manufacturing,  making, and laboratory facilities for College of Engineering and Architecture (CAE) students.

“Howard University is grateful to receive this donation from Autodesk. Our College of Engineering and Architecture has produced world-class engineers for over 115 years,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University.

The statement added that Autodesk provides Howard students free access to its design software and learning resources. The company also hosted Autodesk Fusion 360 workshops for students. It held the Autodesk HBCU Tech Program to provide career pathways to students at Howard and other historically Black colleges and universities.

“With this generous support from Autodesk, we are further equipped to strategically expand our making facilities, which serve our mechanical engineering students, and ensure that Howard University students continue to have pathways that enable them to collaborate and develop innovative technologies that serve the public interest,” said John M. M. Anderson, dean of the CEA.

The statement also said that as part of this program, students with computer science and engineering backgrounds received paid externships at Autodesk. In addition, students collaborated with staff on projects, tackling technical challenges like robotics security and manufacturing workflows while gaining valuable real-world work experience.

“Autodesk is committed to helping the next generation prepare for the future of work. The industry needs a workforce with the most in-demand skills to keep pace with innovation and technological advances. The talented students at Howard University are future innovators. With our gift, Autodesk is honored to play a role in ensuring they have the resources and technology available to prepare for their careers,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO.

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