Thank to a generous donation from billionaire philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott, four HBCU’s have reported their highest single-donor donations ever. Howard University, Hampton University, Tuskegee University, and Xavier University, received record-breaking donations, the institutions announced on Tuesday (July 28).
“This is a remarkable demonstration of support and encouragement for Xavier and its mission, and a reminder that what we do is important, not only at the university but also within our global community,” said Xavier university President Reynold Verret.
Xavier and Tuskegee received $20 million each, Hampton received $30 million, and Howard received $40 million.
“This pure act of benevolence is clearly a game changer and it could not have come at a better time,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said in a statement. “I speak for the entire Hampton University community when I say we are grateful to Ms. MacKenzie Scott, who has chosen to support us during this unprecedented period of uncertainty.” The money will be used for scholarships, faculty payroll, and campus upgrades.
In a statement thanking Scott, Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick revealed that the donation will be used to “support components” of the school’s “five-year strategic plan to help students graduate on time, retain our talented faculty, enhance our campus infrastructure and support academic innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Similarly, Hampton plans to use the money for student scholarships, campus upgrades, and other necessities.
The donation to Tuskegee will help the school “build on its reputation as one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher education,” the university said in a statement.
“The gift comes at an opportune time for us,” said President Lily D. McNair. “We are about to launch a five-year strategic planning effort, acnd with this investment from Ms. Scott, we will be able to unfold the next phase of our mission in ways we simply could not have considered before.”
Scott, who is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, previously pledged to give away most of her multi-billion-dollar fortune. In a Medium post on Tuesday, Scott announced that after consulting with advisors they narrowed down donations to 116 organizations driving change. Scott posted the following breakdown of the $1.7 billion that she has given away so far:
Racial Equity: $ 586,700,000
LGBTQ+ Equity: $ 46,000,000
Gender Equity: $ 133,000,000
Economic Mobility: $ 399,500,000
Empathy & Bridging Divides: $ 55,000,000
Functional Democracy: $ 72,000,000
Public Health: $ 128,300,000
Global Development: $ 130,000,000
Climate Change: $ 125,000,000