MIT Alum Donate $500K For FAMU Engineering Student Scholarships

November 03, 2023
Darryl and Leslye Fraser
MIT Alum Donate $500K For FAMU Engineering Student Scholarships

Darryl and Leslye Fraser are investing in the next generation of Black STEM professionals.

Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineering alumni who were mentees of former FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Dean Yaw D. Yeboah, Ph.D., have donated $215,000 of their $500,000 pledge to provide expendable and endowed scholarships for Florida A&M University engineering students.

Leslye Fraser earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT before going on to study law. She is a retired U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) environmental appeals judge. She met fellow chemical engineering student Darryl Fraser at MIT. He is a retired corporate vice president of communications for Northrop Grumman Corporation.

“Having benefited from our backgrounds in engineering, we wanted to provide the same opportunities to others. We adopted FAMU as our HBCU because of its stellar reputation and commitment to growing the next generation of Black STEM professionals who will change the world,” Darryl and Leslye Fraser said in a statement.

Yeboah served as FAMU-FSU College of Engineering dean from July 2012 to July 2015.

Four decades earlier, he was the first MIT student to earn four degrees in four years – bachelor’s degrees in management, chemistry and chemical engineering, and a master’s in chemical engineering practice. Yeboah earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT in 1979.

After retiring and living in South Florida part of the year, the Frasers reconnected with Dean Yeboah.  Because of the mentoring they received from him during their time at MIT, and their new connection to Florida, they were inspired to donate funds to provide scholarships for FAMU engineering students, said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., vice president for University Advancement and dean of the School of Business and Industry.

In addition, their personal gift, the Frasers challenge FAMU alumni and non-FAMU alumni to pay it forward by donating more dollars to start endowed and expendable scholarship funds.

“I am so thankful to Leslye and Darryl as non-FAMU alumni for valuing FAMU and our engineering students enough to donate $500,000 over five years for endowed and expendable scholarships,” Friday-Stroud said.