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JSCU, UNC Charlotte get huge grants

Two Charlotte universities today received huge gifts. Johnson C. Smith University was awarded a record grant of $5.7 million from the Duke Endowment. The school says the money will be used to help establish new programs. UNC Charlotte, meanwhile, will receive about $1.9 million for its motorsports engineering program. A trust fund established for the late NASCAR driver Alan Kulwicki is making the donation. Kulwicki was also an engineer. Bob Johnson, the dean of UNC Charlotte's engineering school, says the money will be used to expand the program's laboratory. "All these kids come down to Charlotte to be motorsports engineers from all over the state, all over the country, and this provides an opportunity for many of them to follow Alan Kulwicki's dream, and this enables many of the young people to pursue their dream in racing," Johnson said. Kulwicki was NASCAR's Winston Cup champion in 1992. He died in a 1993 plane crash. The Kulwicki trust money will also go toward scholarships and help fund class projects like the building of race cars. Kulwicki was a rarity in NASCAR driving circles: He was a college graduate. The trust also gave $630,000 to fund need-based scholarships at his alma matter, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.