Writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has awarded a $50 million gift to Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) to be used at the discretion of the President to support the needs of the University. “This is a historic gift for Prairie View, coming at a time when the University had already decided and begun to invest heavily in key areas to strengthen its academic programs and improve student success,” said Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, President of (PVAMU) “The timing of this gift could, therefore, not be better.”
University administrators will designate $10 million of the total to create the Panther Success Grant Program which will assist juniors and seniors with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those funds will be disbursed to students over the next several years, and will supplement other forms of financial aid.
With this substantial gift, the University’s $95 million endowment will increase nearly 40 percent to almost $130 million, making it one of the largest endowments at a Historically Black College or University. The University plans to allocate remaining funds to support high priority academic needs, including endowed faculty positions, faculty recruitment and faculty development, improvements in academic areas, undergraduate scholarships, and graduate fellowships.
PVAMU has had a number of high profile gifts in recent months, including:
$1 million for the Center for Race and Justice from HEB Chairman Charles Butt
$1.5 million from the Mellon Foundation for Afro-American Studies and faculty development
$1.5 million from Houston Endowment for the College of Education
$1 million from Bank of America for career services
$850,000 from Vistra, Inc., to improve educational opportunities for students
$2 million from community leader Shari Griswold for scholarships.