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MacKenzie Scott gives $31M to 2 Mississippi HBCUs

December 19, 2020 GMT

Two historically black schools in Mississippi say gifts from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott are the biggest they’ve ever received from a single donor.

A $25 million donation to Alcorn State University more than doubled the school’s endowment, President Felecia M. Nave said in a news release.

“A significant number of Alcorn’s students are the first in their families to attend college and Ms. Scott’s pivotal gift in these uncertain times will help ensure that students have access to a life-changing education,” she said.

Tougaloo College got $6 million and will use it to support major initiatives supported by its recently established Preserving and Advancing Excellence Fund, a news release said.

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Scott, former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said in a post Tuesday on Medium that she has given $4.1 billion over the past four months to help people hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The 384 recipients include institutions providing education for historically marginalized and underserved people, she wrote.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Tougaloo College,” said President Carmen J. Walters.

Sandra L. Hodge, vice president for institutional advancement, said, “This generous gift will allow us to continue and sustain our history of academic excellence and social justice.”