Harper to Endow MacKenzie Scott’s Record Donation $ 9 Million

Harper College plans to endow half of billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s record $ 18 million donation in hopes of generating investment income for initiatives that bridge equity gaps, help community and meet needs fundamentals of students, officials said.

The college committed the initial $ 9 million this summer for scholarships to 1,000 students in financial need, covering full tuition, fees and books over a two-year period.

Scott’s surprise gift of June 15 is the largest received in the Palatine Community College’s 54-year history, and was one of more than $ 2.7 billion donated that day to 286 organizations “in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and neglected, ”Scott announced.

Harper’s board of directors is expected to approve a fund agreement between the college and the Harper College Educational Foundation next week that outlines general parameters for the use of the remaining $ 9 million; last month, the board of directors agreed to delegate the investment of funds to the foundation.

College officials said the foundation would use a “prudent and sound investment strategy” as it works with an asset management company specializing in higher education and invests endowment funds using a diversified approach.

The endowment rate of return last year was 27%, and the five-year average is 13.6%, officials said.

Beyond the first $ 9 million spent on the Igniting Paths to Success scholarship in July, the college has yet to put in place a specific initiative on how to use the $ 9 million endowed. But officials are discussing a variety of ideas.

“We are committed to a framework that aims to bridge the equity gaps, help the community and meet the basic needs of students,” said university spokesperson Kim Pohl. “This is very much in line with MacKenzie Scott’s goal.”

Harper was one of more than 30 colleges and universities selected for funding by Scott and his advisers. In Illinois, Scott gave $ 40 million to the University of Illinois-Chicago and $ 5 million to Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago.

“Higher education is a proven path, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students from chronically underserved communities,” Scott wrote in a blog post.

Thanks to Scott’s donation, Harper was able to increase the amount of scholarships awarded this year to nearly $ 10 million. Last year the college donated $ 2 million.

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