Good news isn’t exactly easy to find these days, certainly not on the college campuses where leaders are trying to figure out how to educate their students this fall while protecting them from the coronavirus.
So word that Xavier University of New Orleans has received an eye-popping gift of $20 million — the largest in the historically Black university’s history — couldn’t be more welcome.
A sum that large is, quite frankly, a game-changer.
Noting that there's a lot of talent "that we as a nation do not develop or take advantage of, and that’s our loss," President Reynold Verret said the school will put some of the gift toward need-based scholarships. Xavier will also use the donation to grow its endowment, expand the faculty and enhance the curriculum across disciplines.
The donor initially asked to remain anonymous. But MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, soon revealed that Xavier was among nearly 120 organizations to benefit from her cumulative $1.7 billion contribution centered on combating racial and gender inequality. In a blog post, Scott encouraged others to step up however they can.
“Every one of (the recipients),” she wrote, “is tackling complex challenges that will require sustained effort over many years, while simultaneously addressing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. And every one of them would benefit from more allies looking to share wealth of all types and sizes, including money, volunteer time, supplies, advocacy, publicity, networks and relationships, collaboration, encouragement, and trust.”