Norfolk State receives $40 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk State University just received its largest single-donor gift in its 85-year history.

American novelist, billionaire, and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gifted the university $40 million.

NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston accepted the donation on behalf of the university, saying that it will help “advance the mission of NSU in support of access, student achievement, and academic excellence.”

The university is currently planning a major campaign to enhance endowment, increase student scholarships opportunities, develop workforce and economic development activities for its students.

Mackenzie Scott, currently the fourth wealthiest woman in the world and former spouse of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, wrote in a recent Medium article that she pledged to help organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic this year.

“Witnessing the determination, creativity, and compassion of people in a crisis has been inspiring,” Scott said.

Norfolk State was identified as one of the many organizations “with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

Scott donated more than $4 billion in total to 384 organizations across the country, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C., including in Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina.

Elizabeth City State University received $15 million, which was the largest gift in their school’s history. Hampton University received $30 million from Scott earlier this year.

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