Largest Individual Gift in the University’s History Represents “Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Advance Our Future as Leaders in Equity-Centered Student Success”
California State University, Northridge President Erika D. Beck announced today that CSUN received a gift of $40 million from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett. It is the largest gift from a single donor in the institution’s history.
“This transformative gift provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance our future as leaders in equity-centered student success to provide a brighter and more equitable future for our students, their families and the communities we are so proud to serve,” said Beck, in making the announcement.
The gift, which is designated to support presidential priorities, comes at an especially advantageous time for the university. Beck, who assumed the presidency of CSUN in January of this year, recently issued a report on what she heard during an intensive listening tour during her first 100 days. The report is the first step to a university wide process starting this fall to create a roadmap for the future.
“While one-time dollars cannot be used to support long-term expenses in perpetuity, with a mix of focused spending and investment, we can, and will, use these dollars to transform our campus for generations to come,” Beck said of the gift.
Among the priorities identified in the Listening Tour Report, are the elimination of equity gaps, accelerating the work in diversifying the faculty, academic excellence, holistic student support and facilitating CSUN students’ educational goals and intellectual promise.
Scott and Jewett’s gifts to higher education have focused on institutions that have higher proportions of students from historically underserved communities and excel at supporting their success. With multiple programs ranked nationally for their quality and excellence, CSUN was recently ranked 4th in the nation on CollegeNet’s Social Mobility Index, which measures a college’s success at moving students up the social and economic ladder.
“I am deeply grateful to MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for their generosity and foresight; their investment is a direct reflection of their belief in our ability to advance student success and showcasing the promise of our university in serving as a national model for education grounded in equity,” Beck said.