Fram Virjee, president of California State University, Fullerton, announced today that CSUF received a $40 million gift — the largest donation in the university’s history — from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett.
“This generational gift is the direct result of your ever-growing commitment to our students; first to breathe life into their academic goals and life dreams, and then to loudly and proudly share their success with the world,” Virjee said in a letter distributed to campus faculty and staff.
The allocation of the gift will be guided by CSUF’s strategic plan and core mission of student success; diversity, equity and inclusion; and faculty research, support and retention. The university also will consider possible infrastructure improvements, matching fund projects with its eight colleges and enhancing community partnerships, Virjee said.
“Of course, to ensure the enduring power of this gift, a large portion of it will be placed in our endowment where it will continue to generate funds to benefit future Titans and have transformative effects around the world for generations to come,” he added.
In an earlier statement, Scott explained that her life includes “two assets” that she can use to help others: the wealth delivered to her by an “imbalanced” social system and “a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions.”
As a result, many of Scott’s gifts help historically marginalized people by supporting groups that focus on racial, gender and social justice.
In Scott’s Medium post today, she shined the spotlight on higher education as a “proven pathway to opportunity” and explained that she specifically sought to support “2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved.”
Cal State Fullerton’s long-standing and continued mission focuses on these very issues to serve these students.
“It is indeed an honor to have received such an incredible philanthropic investment,” said Greg Saks, vice president for University Advancement. “When you consider that Ms. Scott works with the most sophisticated advisers available on the planet and, based on their research, they identified the unique and special transformational social change that happens at Cal State Fullerton, it is a ringing endorsement to the investment-worthiness of our university.”
About Cal State Fullerton: The largest university in the CSU and the only campus in Orange County, Cal State Fullerton offers 110 degree programs, and Division 1 athletics. Recognized as a national model for supporting student success, CSUF excels with innovative, high-impact educational practices, including faculty-student collaborative research, study abroad and competitive internships. Our vibrant and diverse campus is a primary driver of workforce and economic development in the region. CSUF is a top public university known for its success in supporting first-generation and underrepresented students, and preparing all students to become leaders in the global marketplace. Our It Takes a Titan campaign, a five-year $200 million comprehensive fundraising initiative, prioritizes investments in academic innovation, student empowerment, campus transformation and community enrichment. Visit fullerton.edu.
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Cal State Fullerton received a $40 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in recognition of the university’s leading role in student success, research, and serving historically underserved groups.