IRSC Receives $45 million gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

news release

stock photos from around main campus in Fort Pierce photographed on Monday, April 23, 2018. (Molly Bartels/IRSC)

Today, on the day of its 2020 Commencement Ceremony, Indian River State College (IRSC) announced that it has received the largest single donation in its 60-year history from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

“We are especially grateful for Ms. Scott’s generosity and her confidence in IRSC’s critical mission,” said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “The magnitude of this gift will positively transform lives for generations of IRSC students. It accelerates our ability to redefine our College and reframe the narrative on how American community colleges can better serve all of our constituencies.”

Equity and economic mobility for students is at the forefront of the College’s agenda under President Moore. The donation will allow IRSC to more quickly expand and grow strategic initiatives that support access and outreach to low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented populations; expand essential career training and degree programs that put students into in-demand jobs and encourage entrepreneurism; embark on capital projects, like the Advanced Workforce Training Complex, that are vital for building workforces for the future; and develop critical partnerships that bring new opportunities and ideas to our region and nation.

IRSC is among 384 organizations selected after Scott’s team of advisors considered some 6,500 organizations along with data analysis on community needs, program outcomes, and each non-profit’s capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding. The announcement was made yesterday on Scott’s blog. Donations were focused on those “operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

In 2019 Scott pledged to give away her entire fortune, and in July 2020 actively accelerated her giving. In the past four months, she has donated $4,158,500,000. IRSC is grateful to be among the most recent recipients. Scott is the former wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

About Indian River State College

A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The College—ranked second-most-affordable in the nation—annually serves nearly 30,000 students in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties in the State of Florida. IRSC offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Ninety-one percent of IRSC students graduate debt free.

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