Harris-Stowe State University provides educational opportunities for students seeking a rich and engaging academic experience, designed to nurture intellectual curiosity and build authentic, marketable skills that prepare students for success in a diverse society.
Located in midtown St. Louis, Harris-Stowe has over 1,200 students attending and offers 59 majors, minors, certificates and other academic options in sciences, technology, engineering and math, healthcare, public service, business and education.
Dr. Manicia Finch, dean of enrollment management at Harris-Stowe, says the students and staff are very excited about their newest campaign and scholarship opportunity called “Live & Learn in the Lou.” She says it began as a way to entice prospective local students with jobs to pursue their education while they work. Yet it has expanded to something bigger — Live & Learn in the Lou now welcomes out-of-state students as well.
The Live & Learn in the Lou scholarship was created to not only help working students, but also to help companies maintain an effective workforce and minimize the need for repetitive hiring and training. Companies will benefit by supporting students who have been great employees.
The scholarship will match up to $4,000 of the company’s financial investment toward tuition for students enrolled in at least 12 or more hours at Harris-Stowe. Application requirements for the scholarship include a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Dr. Mary Jo Gorman and her husband, Dr. Michael R. Borts, provided the initial funding for the Live & Learn in the Lou scholarship.
Dr. Gorman said she met the previous president of Harris-Stowe, Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, at a social event and they got to talking about what Harris-Stowe was doing and their mission. The couple was intrigued and made a donation earmarked for a scholarship. Later they were approached with the idea of allocating the donation toward the Live & Learn in the Lou scholarship, and they wholeheartedly supported the effort.
“My husband and I believe that education is opportunity. … And we are interested in supporting students in a way that helps make it possible for them to be educated — particularly for those who are first-in-their-families college goers,” Gorman says.
She adds that college-educated adults have better income and therefore better financial stability, which leads to more stability in the rest of their lives. “We’re delighted to be supporting an organization that is doing that kind of work,” she adds.
“Live & Learn in the Lou is such an exciting campaign,” says Finch. “It’s just an exciting time to be a Hornet — it really is.”
The university is celebrating over 160 years of excellence in higher education. It began as two smaller institutions that combined in 2005 to become a historical Black college.
Students and staff praise Harris-Stowe for its diversity and supportive environment.
“You’re going to meet students from about 30 or 40 different states; you’re going to meet students from about 17 different countries — so you can have a world-class experience, living and learning here in the Lou,” Finch says.
Harris Stowe prides itself on being one of the most affordable, accessible and diverse institutions in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. At last count, about 48% of the students had an academic scholarship, says Finch. And she says corporations are taking notice as they seek to hire Harris-Stowe graduates.
Ahmaad Wallace, a sociology major with a concentration in urban areas, shared why he chose Harris-Stowe: “When I came to Harris-Stowe, I already knew that I wanted to attend a smaller institution, hence, I wanted that personal connection with my professors — and that’s exactly what I got. They’re very effective with their communications here. They really, really want to see their students succeed and want them to excel, and they’re here to provide any necessary resources and networking opportunities that are available.”
Over 300 students live in the residence halls at Harris-Stowe. Many students prefer living on campus or nearby to enjoy the full college experience — as students can then collaborate with each other in person as well as meet one-on-one with professors instead of over video conferencing.
“You can get a very robust academic education here at Harris-Stowe State,” Finch says.
“Harris is one of the best kept secrets in St. Louis,” she adds.
For more information about Harris-Stowe or to apply, visit or take a virtual tour, click here or call 314.340.3300.