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How did Norfolk State get $40 million?

by Alsander Womack

Norfolk State University is among several other HBCUs that have something to be excited about at their respective universities. Dating back to July of 2020, Mackenzie Scott has been in a very giving mood. How giving you may ask? Scott has donated $4.1 billion to over 300 different organizations in the last four months with NSU being one of the lucky receivers.

Mackenzie Scott, formerly known as MacKenzie Bezos, is the ex-wife of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world. MacKenzie is an American novelist, philanthropist, and award-winning author. In 2005, she won the American Book Award for her novel The Testing of Luther Albright.

How did MacKenzie Scott come up with such a great influx of money? It is really simple: she owned a lot of Amazon stock. Also, after her divorce from Jeff Bezos, she signed The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge states that she gives away at least half of the money she earned to charitable organizations during her lifetime or after she dies. In this case, the amount was $35 billion

Scott stated in Insidehighered.com that she “sought to give immediate support to those being affected by the economic crisis related to the pandemic.”

Scott, being the philanthropist that she is, in July donated nearly $1.7 billion to 116 charitable groups. Scott writes “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” according to BusinessInsider.com.

Along with donating billions of dollars to community-based organizations, Scott also donated $560 million to ten separate historically black colleges and universities. The ten HBCUs that received these gifts were: Delaware State University, Bowie State University, North Carolina A&T University, Virginia State University, Clafin University, Morgan State University, Alcorn University, Elizabeth City State University, Dillard College, and Norfolk State University.

When asked why she chose to give to HBCUs, Scott replied telling InsideHigherEd.com that she wanted to provide more “education for historically marginalized and underserved people.”

As a result, Norfolk State University received a whopping $40 million.

NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston told WRIC.com this generous gift will “advance the mission of NSU in support of access, student achievement, and academic excellence.”

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