By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter

The murder of George Floyd and the killing of Breonna Taylor, both at the hands of law enforcement were the primary tragic episodes that sparked the nation’s current racial reckoning. The onslaught of COVID-19 has killed millions around the world and more than 500,000 in America, with a disproportionate number of deaths being Black people and other people of color. Those two killings and the scourge of a global pandemic helped trigger the largesse of the wealthiest woman in the world and several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been the beneficiaries.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the world’s richest woman announced in July that she was giving a total of $1.7 billion dollars to institutions of higher education and other entities, including several HBCUs. 

In Maryland, Morgan State University, the flagship HBCU in the state received $40 million, while Bowie State University received $25 million and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore received $20 million. 

Delaware State University received $20 million and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania also received $20 million. Prairie View A&M University in Texas received $50 million from Scott.

North Carolina A&T State University received $45 million from Scott and Elizabeth City State University, also in North Carolina received a gift of $15 million. Norfolk State University, in Virginia received $40 million and Virginia State University received $30 million. 

Alcorn State University, in Mississippi received a gift of $25 million, Claflin University, in South Carolina received $20 million, Clark University in Georgia received $15 million and Dillard University in Louisiana received $5 million.

Prior to Scott’s announcement in July that stunned many, in June, Reed Hastings, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and his wife, Patty Quillin announced they were donating $120 million to HBCU’s and the United Negro College Fund.

Despite the generosity from Scott and Hastings and Quillin, HBCUs lag woefully behind most predominantly White institutions (PWI’s) when it comes to university endowments. 

The total endowment for the top 10 HBCUs combined is a little over $2 billion ($2,040,257,000 approximately) while the endowment for Harvard University is a staggering $40.9 billion ($40, 929,700,000). Still the endowments for some of the nation’s HBCUs have grown steadily over the last several years. The top 10 HBCU endowments as of 2020 are as follows:

  1. Howard University, $712,410,000
  2. Spelman College, $377,942,000
  3. Hampton University, $280,598,000
  4. Morehouse College, $157,081,000
  5. Meharry Medical College, $156,719,000
  6. Florida A&M University, $95,635,000
  7. North Carolina A&T State University, $73,809,000
  8. University of the Virgin Islands, $66,894,000
  9. Tennessee State University, $63,020,000
  10.  Virginia State University, $56,149,000