Mackenzie Scott donates millions of dollars to UC Merced, Porterville College

Local News

FRESNO, California. (KSEE) Record-breaking donations were made to some Central Valley universities this week. MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife has recently donated billions to higher education. 

Porterville College, UC Merced, and others were awarded millions of dollars. 

Dr. Claudia Habib is the President of Porterville College. Habib said she received an email about the donation and didn’t know whether to believe it or not.

“To be honest I was skeptical about what this is about,” said Habib. 

Habib said she was in disbelief when she found out they had been given $7 million by MacKenzie Scott and her now-husband Dan Jewett. 

“Honor the spirit of this gift and with that what I mean is that this is transformational for us so we would like to think about what we can do that is different and innovative that we could not have done with other funding sources,” said Habib.

According to a blog post by Scott, she chose numerous higher education institutes that focused on combating racial justice and domestic violence. Also giving to universities that have a diverse student population and programs that reflect that.

UC Merced also received a record-breaking donation of $20 million from Scott. 

Juan Sanchez Munoz is the Chancellor of UC Merced. He said they are very excited to get input from staff and students to see how they can disperse the funds. 

“We are going to look very carefully at what kind of strategic investments can be made in research and the area of research that we want to develop that maybe we had not been in a previous position to make that investment in,” said Munoz. 

Munoz said he is incredibly thankful and humbled to receive such a large grant. 

“This is really a remarkable gift and as you know we are not alone in enjoying the generosity of this particular family,” said Munoz. 

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