A historic gift to North Carolina A&T State University was announced on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
NC A&T received $45 million from MacKenzie Scott, who announced donations to 384 organizations across the country totaling $4.15 billion.
Scott was married to Jeff Bezos, and when they divorced in 2019, the $38 billion divorce settlement made Scott the third wealthiest woman in the world.
The gift from Scott is the largest that NC A&T has ever received and will be used to enhance student success and support academic programs.
The university stated it will invest the money in four major areas.
“Student Success,” which includes programs to promote the enrollment, retention and timely graduation of students as well as assistance for students in financial need.
“Preparation for the Workplace,” which focuses on developing workplace-ready skills that enhance graduates’ success in entry level jobs and in advancement over the course of their careers.
“Civic Responsibility and Engagement,” which will encourage students to give back to their communities, engage in the broader world and assume a mantle of leadership.
“Academic Programs,” where money will go toward further development of A&T’s academic programs including professions in STEM, humanities, business, health, education and agriculture.
In a press release, NC A&T Chancellor Harold Martin said, “We are deeply grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this vivid illustration of faith in our university and its historic and abiding commitment to academic excellence and to the African American community. Her singular generosity stands out among the many investments in our university this year as one that will play a transformative role in the potential of A&T, serving Aggies far into the future.”
Martin added, “We hope that Scott’s philanthropic leadership will inspire others to invest in North Carolina A&T, its students and its future. We will strive to fulfill the promise of this gift and repay it to the communities and individuals we serve many times over.”