The largest gift in the university’s history will strengthen proven pathways to opportunity, fueling student success, academic excellence and faculty research for generations.
Philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, today announced a $40 million unrestricted gift to UCF that will strengthen the university’s focus on fostering social mobility while developing the skilled talent needed to advance industry across our state and beyond. This is the largest gift to UCF in its 58-year history.
“We are honored by Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett’s trust and confidence in the University of Central Florida,” says UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. “Their transformational gift validates the work our faculty and staff do to foster student success and we are thankful these funds will enable us to increase our impact for generations of students. This unrestricted investment will accelerate our trajectory toward becoming the world’s leading public metropolitan research university and inspire others to invest in building a better future for our students and society.”
In 2019, Scott — one of the world’s wealthiest women — pledged to give away most of her wealth. She gathered a group of nonprofit investors to help her identify and assess organizations that have a major impact on a number of causes, including economic mobility, positive social change, and equity. Through her donations, she has taken a “data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results.”
“We chose to make relatively large gifts to [286 organizations], both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others,” Scott wrote in a blog post on Medium. “Because we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encouraged them to spend it however they choose.”