Voorhees receives largest single gift in history of $4M from billionaire philanthropist

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Voorhees receives largest single gift in history of $4M from billionaire philanthropist

December 16, 2020

Voorhees College received a generous $4 million donation from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in efforts to help from all of the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She recently wrote a post titled “384 Ways to Help,” where she describes the pandemic as a “wrecking ball” in the lives of Americans who already struggle. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty,” Scott said. 

Voorhees College President W. Franklin Evans said Scott initially wanted to remain anonymous, but she and her team of advisors identified organizations with strong leadership teams and visionaries, committed to achieving results. “This is the largest single gift ever given to the institution, and we are sincerely grateful to Ms. MacKenzie Scott,” Evans said. 

He added, “Her gift will be used in a variety of ways to include scholarship dollars for students, financial support to non-traditional and international students, healthcare for employees, facility upgrades and deferred maintenance, and the establishment of endowed chairs.” 

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires, Scott is ranked as No. 18 on their index of the world’s 500 richest people, with a net worth of $60.7 billion. She said that her gifts over the last four months total $4.15 billion and have reached organizations across all 50 states. “Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable,” Scott wrote. 

“Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds that take on institutional discrimination.” 

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu. 

Voorhees College is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. From its founding in 1897, Voorhees has evolved into a leading four-year liberal arts college. Voorhees College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the baccalaureate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Voorhees College. Voorhees is fully committed to its mission www.voorhees.edu to meet the highest standards for educating the minds, hearts and spirits of young men and women. Additional information about Voorhees College can be found on the Web site at www.voorhees.edu