Mar 16, 2022 - News

MacKenzie Scott donates $20 million to Meharry Medical College

The outside of Meharry College
The exterior of Meharry Medical College. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is giving Meharry Medical College $20 million, one of the historically Black institution's largest donations ever.

Why it matters: The influx of cash shows Meharry's growing fundraising power. Donations have been on an upswing in recent years as the college's profile rose during the pandemic.

  • Meharry president James Hildreth said in an announcement that the money would go toward campus infrastructure upgrades and academic program expansion.

Between the lines: Scott, one of the richest people in the world, has pledged to give away most of her fortune. Her gift to Meharry came without strings — leaders are free to use it as they see fit.

The big picture: Meharry's mission is to increase the number of health care providers in poor and underserved communities. Hildreth said Scott's donation would be used to advance that goal and "transform the college."

What he's saying: "Meharry has been catapulted into the national spotlight over the last two years for our efforts in the fight against COVID-19," Hildreth said. "We have been working to address health disparities and improve health equity nationwide for a very long time."

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