Tag Archives: HBCUs

UNPRECEDENTED: MacKenzie Scott Transforms HBCU Endowments With A Flurry Of Million Dollar Gifts In 2020

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving. – Erma Bombeck

The year of George Floyd’s death and the European American guilt that accompanied it can be argued was the catalyst that led to the largest flurry of million dollar plus donations to HBCUs ever seen and it was led almost solely by one woman – MacKenzie Scott, the quietly known co-founder of Amazon who has emerged as a powerhouse in the world of philanthropy. Of the reported 37 donations of $1 million or more as reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy to HBCUs, Ms. Scott is responsible for 22 of them. Her donation to Prairie View A&M University was the largest in the school’s history and the largest ever to a public HBCU. Questions of where the money actually ends up and who is managing it given Prairie View’s relationship to Texas A&M are worth investigation by PVAMU alumni. All the same, HBCU endowments began 2020 standing at approximately $2.1 billion combined. 2020’s million dollar plus donations to HBCUs are equivalent to roughly 33 percent of that – in one year. To put in perspective, these donations to HBCUs in 2020 were greater than Howard University’s 150 plus year old endowment and would be the equivalent of someone donating approximately $15 billion to Harvard’s endowment, which Ms. Scott actually could do. Again, unprecedented.

We have expanded our review of the data collected to include more information regarding those major donations to HBCUs as well as their presence in the overall landscape of major donations to all colleges and universities. Are HBCUs getting their share? Although HBCUs make up three percent of the United States higher education ecosystem, they do not tend to receive three percent of the philanthropic donations or value. This year breaks the mold with HBCUs receiving over 11 percent of the major donations and over 15 percent of the major donation value. Unprecedented is putting it mildly. While this infusion is beyond needed and could not come at a better time as many higher education institutions across the country are having real questions of future and long-term fiscal viability, those with well position endowments have far less to worry about in their ability to have the resources necessary to pivot in an ever changing education landscape. Despite this landslide of donations, there are still no HBCUs with a $1 billion endowment or more. Howard University is still leading the way and looking like the inevitable first, but after Howard and Spelman, there are a myriad of questions and concerns as to the endowment health of every other HBCU.

Despite no African American having the wealth to give at the scale of MacKenzie Scott, it still begs the question of where are the African American wealthy in making major donations to HBCUs on a more consistent and sustainable basis. Only 4 of the 37 donations on 2020’s list come from African American families. George Floyd’s death was clearly a catalyst for much of this giving to African American institutions in 2020, but relying on Black death as a means to spur major giving is morally problematic and acutely unsustainable. There is no reason that this list every year is not made up of predominantly African Diaspora and African American households. For reasons that are complex though, that has still yet to happen. It is also worth noting which schools received donations. While the usual suspects of Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Howard University are there, one-third of the donations went to public HBCUs whom rarely find themselves in the philanthropic spotlight. Lesser known, but just as important HBCUs like Claflin University, Lincoln University (PA), and Xavier University (LA) also showed up. A vital need is for the smaller HBCUs to receive major gifts, HBCUs like Texas College, Florida Memorial University, Virginia University at Lynchburg also badly need to receive major gifts to shore up their fiscal futures. African American households must be the one to lead that charge if major giving to HBCUs is to be burning bright tomorrow and not just a firecracker today.

$1 Million Plus Donations To All Colleges: 329

$100 Million Plus Donations To All Colleges: 7

$1 Million Plus Donations Value To All Colleges: $4.7 Billion

$1 Million Plus Median Donation To All Colleges: $6.0 Million

$1 Million Plus Average Donation To All Colleges: $14.4 Million

$1 Million Plus Donations To HBCUs: 37*

$100 Million Plus Donations To HBCUs: 0

$1 Million Plus Donations Value To HBCUs: $716.7 Million

$1 Million Plus Median Donation To HBCUs: $20.0 Million

$1 Million Plus Average Donation To HBCUs: $19.4 Million

HBCU Percentage of Donations To All Colleges: 11.2%

HBCU Percentage of Donation Value To All Colleges: 15.2%

1. MacKenzie Scott (pictured) – $50 million
Recipient: Prairie View A&M University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

2. MacKenzie Scott – $45 million
Recipient: North Carolina A&T State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

3. Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin  – $40 million
Recipient: Morehouse College
Source of Wealth: Technology

4. Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin – $40 million
Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Technology

5. Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin – $40 million
Recipient: United Negro College Fund
Source of Wealth: Technology

6. MacKenzie Scott – $40 million
Recipient: Morgan State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

7. MacKenzie Scott – $40 million
Recipient: Norfolk State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

8. MacKenzie Scott – $40 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

9. MacKenzie Scott – $30 million
Recipient: Virginia State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

10. MacKenzie Scott– $30 million
Recipient: Winston-Salem State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

11. MacKenzie Scott – $30 million
Recipient: Hampton University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

12. MacKenzie Scott – $25 million
Recipient: Alcorn State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

13. MacKenzie Scott – $25 million
Recipient: Bowie State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

14. MacKenzie Scott  – $20 million
Recipient: Claflin University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

15. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Delaware State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

16. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Lincoln University (PA)
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

17. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Tuskegee University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

18. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Xavier University (Louisiana)
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

19. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Morehouse College
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

20. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

21. MacKenzie Scott – $20 million
Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

22. MacKenzie Scot– $15 million
Recipient: Clark Atlanta University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

23. MacKenzie Scott – $15 million
Recipient: Elizabeth City State University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

24. Anonymous Donor – $10 million
Recipient: Prairie View A&M University
Source of Wealth: N/A

25. Bruce Karsh and Martha Karsh  – $10 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Finance

26. Seth Klarman and Beth Klarman – $10 million
Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Finance

27. MacKenzie Scott – $6 million
Recipient: Tougaloo College
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

28. MacKenzie Scott – $5 million
Recipient: Dillard University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

29. Oprah Winfrey – $2 million
Recipient: Tennessee State University
Source of Wealth: Media & Entertainment

30. Matthew Cullinan and Anna Reilly – $1.7 million
Recipient: Winston-Salem State University
Source of Wealth: Education

31. Jim Murren and Heather Murren – $1 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Finance

32. Charles Butt – $1 million
Recipient: Prairie View A&M University
Source of Wealth: Retail

33. Charles Barkley – $1 million
Recipient: Miles College
Source of Wealth: Entertainment

34. Kenneth Chenault and Kathryn Chenault – $1 million
Recipient: Morehouse College
Source of Wealth: Finance

35. Joan Johnson – $1 million
Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Retail

36. Frank Baker & Laura Day  – $1 million
Recipient: Spelman College
Source of Wealth: Finance

37. Charles Barkley – $1 million
Recipient: Tuskegee University
Source of Wealth: Entertainment

Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy

*Michael Bloomberg’s pledge of $100 million in 2020 to the 4 HBCU medical schools was not included in our list which was sourced strictly from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

HBCU LOVE: Top Ten HBCU States With Highest African American Marriage Rate

Why is HBCU Money talking about marriage? We thought this was a site about money. Well, there are many economists and community developers that agree that one of the most fundamental ingredients to wealth building is marriage. It allows for scaling of capital towards savings and investment, reduction of expenses, and an ability to provide familial stability. Unfortunately, like our median income and wealth, there is no group less likely to actually get married than African Americans. The hurdles to African American marriage are deep and complicated and the solutions to them potentially even more deep and complicated. All that said, anything that leads to higher marriage rates between African Americans can only add to the community’s ability to actually stabilize and empower itself socially, economically, and politically. We of course acknowledge that marriages come in all forms, but the most important form is a healthy, happy, and loving marriage.

National African American Marriage Rate – 29.7%

  1. Virginia – 34.0%
  2. Maryland – 33.2%
  3. Delaware & Texas – 32.8%
  4. Florida & North Carolina – 31.3%
  5. Georgia – 30.9%
  6. Oklahoma – 30.0%
  7. Arkansas – 29.8%
  8. California – 29.7%
  9. Alabama & South Carolina – 29.4%
  10. Mississippi – 28.9%

The question then becomes how can HBCUs, their alumni, and other support organizations encourage more marriage among African Americans at HBCUs? This becomes vital for HBCU’s future because it could be suggested that a couple who both went to HBCUs would be more likely to send their child to an HBCU. Whereas a couple with only one HBCU parent present or no HBCU parents present is far less likely. To encourage coupling as part of an HBCU’s development strategy would by no means be simple given the ratio of women to men on HBCU campuses these days. Simply put, there are not enough men for women to choose from in the heterosexual relationships. And unless more data is collected on LGBTQ HBCU students, there may not be a viable quantity there for them either. This is why it would be important if this was to be considered that a network of HBCU development offices strategize together and increase the probability of matchmaking.

Tracking the statistics on HBCU marriage and family would also be immensely valuable information. An opportunity that certainly presents itself for further research by Hampton University’s National Center on African American Marriage and Parenting. Very little data is actually known on HBCU marriages and families.

Ultimately, HBCUs and their alumni though who can encourage more marriage among HBCU students/graduates must do so through ensuring those relationships are healthy. This means that there must be more mental and physical health development, financial literacy, and relationship etiquette taught. With seven of the ten HBCU states exceeding the national average for African American marriage the ingredients are certainly there for this seed to grow, but it indeed must be watered if we truly plan to see more marriage and healthier marriage which we know can also be one of the key tenets to community formation and building.

Source: U.S. Census

GENTRIFIED – The Ten HBCUs With The Least African Americans On Campus

My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. – Michelle Obama

A look at enrollment statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics show that currently of the HBCUs that receive federal funding (colleges such as Chicago State, Malcolm X College, and a few colleges are excluded because of the federal definition* of what an HBCU is defined as.) The problem of course with not amending that definition leaves no room for the evolution or expansion of the funding. It also continues to mean that others define us more than we define us. The acute tragedy of it means more importantly that money designated for building of African America’s higher education interest is being siphoned off by other communities. In some cases extremely so and that extreme is that on our list seven of the ten HBCUs listed have less than 50 percent of their student body being of African descent. 

T1. Saint Philip’s College (TX) – 9.2%

T1. West Virginia State University (W. VA) – 9.2%

2. Bluefield State College (W. VA) – 9.5%

3. Gadsden State Community College (AL) – 17.2%

4. Shelton State Community College (AL) – 35.2%

5. Lincoln University of Missouri (MO) – 46.2%

6. University of the District of Columbia School of Law (D.C.) – 47.5%

7. Central State University (OH) – 52.7%

8. Bishop State Community College (AL) – 58.9%

9. Fayetteville State University (NC) – 59.6%

10. Edward Waters College (FL) – 61.8%

These schools are the worst of the bunch, but by no means isolated. There are a number of HBCUs where the trend line shows a decreasing population of African descent against the total population of the school and were we to increase our cutoff to 70 percent, a considerable number of additional schools would have been added. This trend is in line with the recent release from the NCES stating, “The percentage of Black students enrolled at HBCUs fell from 18 percent in 1976 to 8 percent in 2014 and then increased to 9 percent in 2020.” What does it mean for African America’s higher educational interest that HBCUs are seeing their leadership and recruitment focused on taking ethnic diversity to a potential extreme? To the point where the school’s would no longer hold or be a cultural asset to African America? These are the questions that need to be asking in urgency, because for the institutions that remaining an African American institution is important too, then strengthening their K-12 pipeline for African American high school graduates is an urgent conversation to be had. That HBCUs do not focus on an Afrocentric definition of diversity, people of African descent from different parts of the Diaspora, African Americans from different geographies, economic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, etc. would still provide diversity shows we often take our cues for higher educational direction from PWIs and not a collection of our own thoughts.

It also more importantly begs the question that if an HBCU is only Black in historic terms only, should their federal funding be redistributed to HBCUS/PBIs who are still serving the higher educational interest of African America. The HBCUs listed (excluding UDC’s law school) received $280 million of the $2.7 billion in federal funding from American Rescue Plan Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities most recently, but given their populations, arguably very little is going to help African American students, their families, or our communities. Is the goal for the funding to be substantive to African American higher education development or just symbolic because without absolute consideration to that point, then we are simply getting more of the latter and not the former. 

HBCU Money™ Turns 10 Years Old

By William A. Foster, IV

The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.” – Thomas Sowell

A DECADE! HBCU Money is still here, still growing, and still strong. We continue to be here to ask the hard questions, present strategic analysis, and be objective about African American and African Diaspora economic, finance, and investment from an HBCU and institutional perspective. The HBCU Money culture remains deeply rooted in our Pan-African values in how we observe the investment world. This means that everything we see will always believe that African America and its institutions will always be stronger together and even more empowered as they connect and partner with our brethren African Diaspora institutions and the larger Diaspora ecosystem.

What does the next decade hold for HBCU Money? More. The original goals of HBCU Money have not changed and while the path there has taken longer than we expected, our constitution is as strong as ever. We plan to expand our staff, our coverage, and the mediums through which we provide information.

Thank you to those who have been there since the beginning, who have joined along the way, and all of you who continue to be our champions.

Ariel Capital’s 2020 Black Investor Survey: African America’s Continued Fight To Close The Investment Gap

“On March 23, 2020, the S&P 500 fell 2.9%. In all, the index dropped nearly 34% in about a month, wiping out three years’ worth of gains for the market. It all led to a 76.1% surge for the S&P 500 and a shocking return to record heights. This run looks to be one of the, if not the, best 365-day stretches for the S&P 500 since before World War II. Based on month-end figures, the last time the S&P 500 rose this much in a 12-month stretch was in 1936, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.” – CBS News

Ariel Capital released their 2020 Black Investor Survey and the results show that there is reason to be pessimistic today, but potentially optimistic for tomorrow. The survey focuses on middle class African American and European American households earning over $50K in 2019. Some key financial points outside of this survey that should be taken into context though are poverty for African American stands at 21.2 percent versus 9.0 percent for European Americans. This high rate of poverty for African Americans means that middle class African Americans, as noted in the survey, are more likely to have high levels of assistance to family and friends which provides a damper on higher investing capabilities. These high levels of poverty are highly reflective of the median wealth gap between African and European Americas, $24,100 versus $188,200, respectively. African America continues to suffer from weak institution building and therefore the ability for its economic and financial ecosystem to strengthen continues to be suffocated. Firms like Ariel Capital and other African American financial institutions need more investment and support from other African American institutions, like HBCUs, in order to scale and create more employment, wealth, and economic opportunities beyond the grassroots level.


  • The deep-rooted gap in stock market participation between the groups persists, with 55% of Black Americans and 71% of white Americans reporting stock market investments.
  • 63% of Black Americans under the age of 40 now participate in the stock market, equal to their white counterparts.
  • Ownership rates of 401(k) plans are now similar between Black and white Americans (53% vs. 55%).
  • White 401(k) plan participants put 26% more per month toward their retirement accounts than Black 401(k) plan participants ($291 vs. $231).
  • Black Americans are less likely than white Americans to own almost every kind of financial vehicle, with the exception of whole life insurance, which is favored in the Black community.
  • They are also less likely than white Americans to have written wills, financial plans, or retirement plans.
  • For Black Americans, disparities grow every month; while they save $393 per month, white Americans are saving 76% more ($693 per month).
  • Black Americans are also far less likely to have inherited (23% vs. 51%) or expect to inherit wealth (15% vs. 35%).
  • Black Americans are less likely to work with financial advisors (21% vs. 45% of whites).
  • Student loan delay or deferral was reported as being three times more common among Black Americans (16%) than whites (5%).
  • More than twice as many Black 401(k) participants (12% vs. 5%) borrowed money from their retirement accounts.
  • Almost twice as many Black Americans (18% vs. 10%) dipped into an emergency fund.
  • And 9% of Black Americans (vs. 4% of white Americans) say they asked their family or friends for financial support in 2020, while 18% of Black Americans and 13% of white Americans acknowledged giving financial support to family and friends last year.
  • Among Black Americans, 10% discussed the stock market with their families growing up, while 37% discuss the stock market with their families now (compared to 23% and 36%, respectively, for white Americans).
The chart above tracks the participation in the stock market through individual stocks, mutual funds, or ETFS. For African and European Americans, 2020 is an all-time low of participation since tracking began in January 1998. However, the gap of participation has closed from 24 percentage points in 1998 to 16 percentage points in 2020. Primarily due to the all-time low of European America’s participation falling by 10 percentage points and African America’s falling by only 2 percentage points. The closest the gap has been was in 2001 and 2002 when it was 10 percentage points and in 2002 saw African America break through 70 percentage points the only time in the survey’s history when we reached 74 percent.

HBCUs can play a significant role in closing the investment gap by introducing students to HBCU alumni who have gone on to become investors and financial advisors – thus circulating both intellectual and financial capital within the HBCU ecosystem. Even more so, they can assist in ensuring students set up investment accounts like a Roth IRA during their freshmen year and throughout matriculation. The earlier students are engaged in investing the more compounding can work for them over their lifetime which in turn makes for wealthier alumni, larger future donations, stronger African American communities, and more value proposition for HBCUs to promote within the African American community.