University of Texas at San Antonio bags $40 million donation from billionaire MacKenzie Scott

UTSA has made recent investments to boost its research output. - COURTESY / THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
Courtesy / The University of Texas at San Antonio
UTSA has made recent investments to boost its research output.
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett have donated $40 million to the University of Texas at San Antonio, which the school will use for programs that boost enrollment, retention and graduations.

The gift to the Hispanic-serving university is the latest significant higher-ed donation from Scott, who grabbed headlines late last year by spreading $4.2 billion between nearly 400 organizations, including underserved colleges. The ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Scott owns 4% of the company's shares.

“This gift is completely transformational for us, for our students, and for our community — it is a tremendous investment in our collective future," UTSA President Taylor Eighmy said in a press statement. "A college education is the best way to address inequities that exist in our communities."

Campus leaders at UTSA, which has made major strides to boost its research efforts, are developing a plan to allocate the unrestricted gift to student success initiatives, Eighmy added. More details are expected later this year.

Scott's December donations included $50 million to Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black university, and $40 million to Hispanic-serving Texas A&M International University in Laredo, according to the Texas Tribune. The gifts were the largest in each university’s history.

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