Six historically Black colleges and universities grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have received hefty donations for “transformative work” due to the efforts of philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, granted millions of dollars to Howard University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Hampton University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Tuskegee University. With the exception of Spelman, which will receive an undisclosed amount, each school will receive between $20 million and $40 million.
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” Scott wrote in a recent Medium.com post. “Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable.”
Howard said in a statement that Scott, a former pupil of alumna Toni Morrison, gave “the largest gift from a single donor in school history.”
“I would like to thank Ms. MacKenzie Scott for her investment into Howard University and our 153-year mission of serving a diverse community of dynamic scholars who come here for an education and leave here with purpose to serve the world,” said Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “We plan to immediately put this eight-figure gift to good use to support components of our 5-year strategic plan to help students graduate on time, retain our talented faculty, enhance our campus infrastructure and support academic innovation and entrepreneurship.”