> Robert O. Agbede president and CEO of Chester Engineers Paying It Forward
Robert O. Agbede president and CEO of Chester Engineers Paying It Forward
The Robert O. Agbede Scholarship Pledges One Million Dollars to S.T.E.M Education
Robert O. Agbede (ENGR ’79, ’81G at Pitt), president and CEO of Chester Engineers Inc., in Moon Township, pledged $50,000 to support a need-based scholarship for students from underrepresented groups—including African Americans and African émigrés—aspiring to the STEM fields. Agbede developed the fund to mark the 100th anniversary of Chester Engineers, which he acquired in 2003 and transformed into the largest Black-owned environmental engineering firm in the United States. The scholarship continues his dedication to paying forward the financial support he received as a young Nigerian immigrant pursuing a career in engineering. His company also supports the ACS-Chester Engineers Scholarship, an endowed gift established in 1944 that is currently worth $1.3 million. A May 18 pledging ceremony at Pitt’s University Club included Agbede (left, seated); Pitt Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Albert J. Novak Jr.; Akin Iroko (right, standing), CEO of TVL Consulting Limited, a Nigerian strategic management firm; and Emmanuel Chike Nwanze (left, standing), current president of the Institute of Directors Nigeria business organization and CEO of Icon Stockbrokers Limited in Nigeria. Nwanze and Iroko were part of a Nigerian delegation participating in a week-long program on leadership at the University of Pittsburgh, ethics, and corporate governance hosted by GSPIA’s Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership.
The Robert O. Agbede Scholarship Pledges One Million Dollars to Stem Education
The Scholarship will help minority students globally pursue their educational dreams
Robert O. Agbede, Chester's president and CEO announces a major investment that will positively impact the lives of thousands of African American students throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. Mr. Agbede is pledging $1million dollars to S.T.E.M. Education through "The Robert O. Agbede Scholarship" that is designed to help minority undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. "I believe a solid education is the greatest equalizer and it helps to break down barriers. The goal is simple, to improve educational opportunities for African American students in the United States, especially those students attending Historically Black Colleges and to reach students in Africa and the Caribbean." said Agbede.
Agbede says on a personal level he has a deep desire to help students pursue their educational goals because he is so thankful for all those individuals who helped him along his pathway to success. As a Lagos, Nigerian native, Agbede recalls being able to attend a school established by the Ford Foundation in his country, and he attributes that opportunity with helping to prepare him for the success that he has achieved today. He is dedicated to making sure minority students have the same hope and opportunity that he had growing up and that is why he plans to contribute one hundred thousand dollars per year for the next ten years to help students pursue their dreams.
At Chester Engineers, Agbede has developed a work culture that emphasizes the importance of giving back, viewing corporate social responsibility as good business. Chester engages with small/minority businesses and students in areas of mentoring. The Robert O. Agbede Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh benefits African American students pursuing engineering degrees. Also at the University of Pittsburgh, the Robert O. Agbede Annual Diversity Award encourages recruitment and retention of African American faculty and students. Chester Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, presently valued at over 3 million dollars, support African American student enrollment and retention primarily in Engineering and Sciences.
On May 18, 2011 Agbede gifted a $50,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh to be used for minority undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. "To whom much is given, much is required. I have been divinely blessed with the opportunity to achieve some of my life's goals and I feel it's important to give back and pass the torch to the next generation by helping them pursue their dreams," said Agbede.
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