June 16, 2021
Billionaire MacKenzie Scott announced Tuesday another massive round of donations, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, to colleges and universities that are not the usual beneficiaries of big-time philanthropy in higher education.
Scott wrote in a blog post that her latest gifts, in consultation with her husband, Dan Jewett, and a team of researchers and advisers, totaled more than $2.73 billion. The money was distributed, she wrote, to “286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”
The recipients spanned a broad swath of the nonprofit sector, including arts and cultural institutions and other organizations focused on a range of causes such as racial equity and community engagement.
Thirty-one colleges and universities made the list. One was the public University of Central Florida in Orlando. The university, with 69,000 students, said it had received an unrestricted gift from Scott and Jewett of $40 million, the largest in its history.
“We are honored by Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett’s trust and confidence in the University of Central Florida,” UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright said in a statement. “Their transformational gift validates the work of our faculty and staff to foster student success and these funds will enable us to further increase our impact for generations of students. This unrestricted investment will accelerate our trajectory toward becoming the world’s leading public metropolitan research university and inspire others to invest in building a better future for our students and society.”
Scott and Jewett also gave a combined $135 million to four schools in the California State University System, Cal State spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp said: $15 million to the Channel Islands campus and $40 million each to campuses in Pomona, Northridge and Fullerton.