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Yahoo Donates 125 Servers to Howard University

The donation is part of a larger effort by the Web 2.0 company, which over the past three years has given 2,500 to schools worldwide.

Yahoo has donated 125 servers to Washington, D.C.'s Howard University to help form the basis of its new Yahoo Data Center.

This new data center will be housed in Howard University's Computer Learning and Design Center (CLDC) as part of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences. Sonya Smith, director of the CLDC, said that the donated servers will enable students and faculty members to develop more accurate high-fidelity computational models that will be beneficial in solving various engineering problems.

Howard University and Yahoo officials were at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 7 at the historically African-American university.

“We are extremely grateful for Yahoo’s generous donation,” Howard University Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a school statement. “Today symbolizes Howard’s continued commitment to technological research and computing.”

Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs, said the giant Internet company has had a good relationship with Howard over the years.

“Howard is a great partner for us,” Brachman said in the same statement. “Howard possesses unique characteristics that match up tremendously with the needs of Yahoo. It is one of the few HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] that has a Ph.D. program in engineering and computer science.”

In 2009 and 2013, Howard was ranked by the National Science Foundation as the number-one producer of African-American bachelor’s degree recipients who went on to earn science and engineering doctoral degrees in the United States.

During the event, Yahoo executives talked with students about the company, its products, and internships and career opportunities. Takedra Mawakana, global head of public policy for Yahoo, stressed the importance of the server donation and pledged Yahoo’s commitment to the Washington D.C. community.

Yahoo kicked off its academic server donation program three years ago, and has since donated more than 2,500 servers to dozens of institutions worldwide. In January of this year, for example, it also donated 40 servers to Big Bed Community College in Washington.