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Education

Delaware State Univ. accepts largest donation ever

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Delaware Public Media
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Delaware State University receives the largest donation in its history.

Novelist and billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is donating $20 million to DSU.

University President Tony Allen says the university couldn’t be more pleased with Scott’s gift and generosity.

"She is not only committed to donating to worthy causes, but also to building capacity for those causes of who are focused on racial equity," said Allen. "In fact she is one of the top donors in racial equity in the country today."

“It is a truly transformational gift that will provide the resources to enable our fine University to continue to grow, flourish and meet its very important mission of providing the highest quality education to the most diverse student body in the nation who will become our future leaders, said DSU Board of Trustees Chairwoman Devona Williams in a statement. "We are both honored and humbled to receive it.”

As for how DSU plans to use the money, Allen says a healthy investment to the endowment will be made.

"Our endowment enables us to build sustainability for the long term. It also allows us to afford worthy students scholarships to make sure that they can get to the finish line," said Allen. "By investing a portion of that award in our endowment we're investing in the university and the students we serve."

Allen notes the money will go towards the acquisition of Wesley College, and the school’s recently created Global Institute for Equity, Inclusion and Civil Rights.

Allen says the acquisition of Wesley will make the university’s health sciences department stronger.

"We have a College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and we believe that Wesley has some terrific programs in the Health Sciences area," said Allen. "So really bringing one of our colleges together with Wesley College making it a theme campus in downtown Dover, I believe is going to position us to have a significant Health Sciences discipline that will rival any institution in our region."

DSU is one of 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to receive a donation from Scott in this latest round of giving from her as part of over 4.1 billion dollars she’s given to 384 nonprofit and charitable organizations in 2020.

In a statemnt annoucing the grants, Scott said she and her advsiors “took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

DSU says it has now raised $32 million this year, helping offset millions of dollars it has lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on its operations.

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