Novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $20 million to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Los Angeles, it was announced today.
The one-time gift represents the largest private donation in the history of the university, which was founded in 1966 in the wake of the Watts riots to address inequities in health care. The school is one of the nation’s four historically Black medical schools.
“CDU has been on a tireless pursuit to cultivate diverse health professional leaders dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, CEO and president of CDU.
“This investment will advance that goal by providing resources to support and enhance our outstanding education, research, clinical service and community engagement. We are truly grateful for MacKenzie Scott’s generosity and dedication to important issues around social justice.”
Scott — ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — has donated more than half a billion dollars to public and private historically Black colleges and universities. The school has been recognized as an HBCU — among
Historically Black Colleges and Universities — by the State of California and is also a federally designated Historically Black Graduate Institution.
The university provides undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs to about 1,000 current students looking to start or accelerate careers in health care. The university also seeks to address several areas of health disparities through various research approaches.