MacKenzie Scott gives school $20 million
Santa Barbara City College has received an unrestricted gift of $20 million from MacKenzie Scott.
It is the largest gift in the college’s history.
Ms. Scott, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, donated more than $2.7 billion to 276 organizations, which she named in a blog post Tuesday. City College and its foundation announced that the Santa Barbara college was among the recipients.
“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for two- and four-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” Ms. Scott wrote in her blog.
City College expressed its appreciation.
“I would like to thank MacKenzie Scott for the trust that has been placed in us. This visionary gift could not have come at a better time, as we are embarking on the creation of our new Educational Master Plan,” Dr. Utpal K. Goswami, the college’s superintendent and president, said in a news release. “These funds will empower us to implement transformational initiatives that will shape our community college of the future and provide the margin of excellence that we seek.”
The SBCC Foundation partners with donors to provide more services and programs to students.
“Our reason for being has to do with helping the next generation acquire the skills and knowledge about the world in which they will live and work so as to be fully successful in life,” Dr. Peter Haslund, president of the Santa Barbara Community College District Board of Trustees, said. “This task requires the full dedication of our faculty and staff who, on a daily basis, exercise the creativity and professional expertise required to make this happen.
“When someone outside our City College community recognizes the significance of what we do and offers to provide a truly generous helping hand, it creates a marvelous opportunity to celebrate and to express our heart-felt gratitude.”
SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green also expressed gratitude for the recognition.
“A gift of this size makes an unequivocal statement that our community’s college is worthy of this level of investment, and that the work of our faculty, staff and students is recognized,” he said. “Our hope is that it will serve as a signal to other donors and highlight the fact that community colleges are perhaps the best tool we have for increasing social and economic mobility, addressing long-standing inequalities in our communities and ensuring that all members of our community have access to a life-changing education.”
Ms. Scott described her gifts as a “symbol of trust and encouragement.”
“I would be remiss if I did not recognize the good work of our faculty and staff which brought us to where we are today,” Dr. Goswami said. “This gift will energize us to pursue our passion to serve all students.”