Yahoo Donates 125 Servers to Howard University, Opens New Data Center

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Yahoo donates 125 servers for the new Yahoo Data Center in Howard University's Computer Learning and Design Center.

Howard University students offload servers for the Yahoo Data Center.

Howard University students offload servers for the Yahoo Data Center.

Howard University engineering students and faculty gathered on Oct. 3, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new Yahoo Data Center housed in Howard's Computer Learning and Design Center (CLDC) at the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Science (CEACS).

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

Dating back to its founding in 1911, CEACS has led the effort to increase the number of minorities, particularly African Americans, in engineering, computer science and other fields. In 2009 and again in 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked Howard University as the top producer of African-American bachelor’s degree recipients who subsequently earned science and engineering doctoral degrees in the United States. The report, “Baccalaureate Origins of U.S.-trained S&E Doctorate Recipients” examines trends over the past decade among private, public, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and international institutions.

A Yahoo executive team presented 125 servers that the company donated to Howard. According to Sonya Smith, Ph.D., director of the CLDC, the servers will allow students and faculty to develop more accurate, high fidelity computational models to solve engineering problems. The Yahoo executives fielded questions about internships and career opportunities at Yahoo from computer science students and about Yahoo products from faculty during the event.

“Howard is a great partner for us,” said Ron Brachman, chief scientist and head of Yahoo Labs. “Howard possesses unique characteristics that match up tremendously with the needs of Yahoo. It is one of the few HBCUs that has a Ph.D. program in engineering and computer science.”

Takedra Mawakana, global head of public policy for Yahoo, underscored the importance of the server donation and pledged Yahoo’s commitment to the Washington community. LaFawn Bailey, talent acquisition specialist at Yahoo, informed students about Yahoo’s corporate culture and the company’s focus on attracting and retaining talented staff.

Yahoo launched its academic server donation program three years ago to help power innovation at the university level. Since its launch, Yahoo has donated more than 2,500 servers to dozens of institutions around the world.

About Yahoo
Yahoo is focused on making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom ( or the company's blog (

About Howard
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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Rachel Mann

Sholnn Freeman
Howard University
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