A Major Gift Seeks to Aid the Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The median endowment of America’s HBCUs is only $15.7 million. And these institutions may have to increasingly use endowment funds as they seek to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major new gift will aid the effort. Patty Quillin, a philanthropist, and Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, have given $40 million each to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College, and Morehouse College. This is the largest ever individual gift in support of student scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities.

“We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future,” said Quillin and Hastings. “Both of us had the privilege of a great education and we want to help more students – in particular students of color – get the same start in life. HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, White capital flows to predominantly White institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more Black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions – helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country.”

Michael L.  Lomax, president and CEO of the UNCF said that,  “I am buoyed and uplifted by their commitment and generosity. I feel a profound sense of responsibility to steward their incredible gift to maximum impact and ensure that it advances their belief in and commitment to the principle that ‘Black lives matter.’”

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