Winston-Salem State receives $30 million donation from MacKenzie Scott; largest-ever gift from a single donor

Winston-Salem State University (WGHP file photo)

Winston-Salem State University (WGHP file photo)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem State University has received a $30 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is giving away nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune, according to CNN.

Winston-Salem State released the following information about the donation on Tuesday:

Winston-Salem State University is excited to announce a transformative gift and the largest donation in the University’s 128-year history. The gift of $30 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is also the largest gift from a single donor. The gift will be strategically invested to meet the University’s highest priorities.

The University met several requirements outlined in Scott’s recent announcement of awards given nationally. The criteria focused on organizations with strong leadership teams and results with special attention to organizations engaging in communities facing food insecurity, racial inequity, high poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital. The award speaks directly to the University’s continued commitment to elevating underrepresented communities through efforts like the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility and a strategic plan that emphasizes social justice and equity.

“This gift will immediately change lives,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “Words cannot express our most sincere appreciation to Ms. Scott for choosing to invest in our university. This gift will allow us to nationally highlight our impact in the community, put our students at the forefront of academic success and leverage a whole new standard of philanthropic giving.”

This gift comes on the heels of the almost $1.7 million received from Anna Reilly and Matt Cullinan during the University’s Million Dollar Match Campaign that resulted in $3.4 million in donations to the university.

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