In a surprise announcement, billionaire MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, announced on June 15 that they are donating more than $ 2.74 billion to 286 different organizations across the country, including a $ 40 million donation to California. State University – Fullerton (CSUF).
Scott’s fortune is estimated by Forbes at about $ 60 billion, with a four percent stake in Amazon she received after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Similar surprise donations were made in 2020 when Scott announced a joint $ 6 billion donation to organizations working on COVID-19 enlightenment, gender equality, historic black colleges, universities and other schools.
In a June 15 media post, Scott said: ‘Because community-centered services are such a powerful catalyst and multiplier, we spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented nonprofits working in neglected areas. . The result was $ 2,739,000,000 in donations to 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have historically been underfunded and overlooked. ”
She continued: ‘Higher education is a proven path to opportunity, so we looked for two- and four-year institutions that have successfully educated students from communities that are chronically underprivileged.’
The donation is the largest in CSUF history and is referred to by Fram Virjee, President of CSUF, as a ‘generational gift’. Virjee said the award will be led by CSUF’s strategic plan and mission for student success that includes diversity, equity and inclusion; faculty research, support and retention.
The university will also consider infrastructure improvements, improving community partnerships and adapting fund projects with its eight colleges.
Virjee also said in a statement that a large portion of the $ 40 million will be put into the university’s grant to generate funds to benefit future generations of students.
Greg Saks, vice president of university advancement, said in a statement: “If you think Scott works with the most sophisticated advisors on the planet, and based on their research, they identify the unique and special transformation social change that takes place during Cal State Fullerton, this is a clear endorsement of the investment dignity of our university. ”
In her blog post, Scott said her life contains ‘two assets’ that she has chosen to help others, including the prosperity that an ‘unbalanced’ social system has brought her and a belief that people who have experience with inequalities, those are. best equipped to design solutions. ”