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MacKenzie Scott Gives Away $4.2 Billion, and Colleges Rejoice

MacKenzie Scott, a writer, philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on Tuesday announced charitable gifts of about $4.2 billion to 384 organizations, including more than 30 colleges.

Many of the gifts, which were made over the last four months, went to historically Black colleges or universities, tribal colleges, or community colleges. Among the beneficiaries are Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas, which described Scott’s $50 million gift as the largest ever gift in the college’s history. Other HBCUs reported receiving record-breaking gifts from Scott in the tens of millions: Morgan State University, in Baltimore, reported a gift of $40 million; Winston-Salem State University, in North Carolina, reported a gift of $30 million; and Delaware State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore reported gifts of $20 million each.

Gothamist reported that two City University of New York campuses, Lehman College in the Bronx and Borough of Manhattan Community College, received donations of $30 million each.

In addition to the gifts to colleges, Scott also announced gifts to a wide array of other charitable organizations, including food banks, United Way and YMCA chapters, among many others.

Scott previously announced in July about $1.7 billion in donations to 116 organizations, including organizations that grant scholarships or provide college advising to minority or low-income students — beneficiaries included the American Indian Graduate Center, College Track, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Posse Foundation, TheDream.US, the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund — as well as to multiple HBCUs, including Hampton, Howard and Tuskegee Universities; Morehouse and Spelman Colleges; and Xavier University of Louisiana.


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