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UCF Receives Largest Gift in Its History, 40 Million Dollars, From Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott And Husband Dan Jewett


Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated 40 million dollars to the University of Central Florida. The gift is the largest in the school’s history. 

MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett announced the unrestricted gift on Tuesday. 

UCF President Alexander Cartwright says the money will help support first-generation and minority students on campus.

“This investment along with a lot of other investments that have come over the years allow us to actually continue to provide the type of quality education and support mechanisms that will allow those students to be able to be successful, graduate on time, and then go out and have tremendous careers.”

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Cartwright says this type of support makes the university a more welcoming place for all students.

"When we think about the needs of our low-income, Pell-eligible students, first-generation, minority students who come to this institution. What they’re looking for is having an opportunity to be part of an institution that is a special place to be as a student and that provides the support that is needed to allow them to be successful.”

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In 2019, Scott pledged to give away most of her wealth starting with large gifts like this one. She's already donated to some 286 organizations including UCF.

In a statement, she said she’s used, “a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results.”  

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.