Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Makes Transformative Gifts to Bowie State, UMES

Statement from USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman

Baltimore, Md. (Dec. 16, 2020)The University System of Maryland (USM) is deeply grateful to philanthropist MacKenzie Scott for her transformative gifts to Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), two of Maryland’s preeminent Historically Black Institutions.

The gifts—$25 million to Bowie State and $20 million to UMES—are among the largest unrestricted gifts ever awarded to an institution within the USM. This incredible generosity is particularly meaningful now, in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately harms students of color, students in poverty, and first-generation students. It is particularly meaningful as we struggle toward equal access and opportunity for Black students and communities, and as UMES and Bowie State educate the next generation of leaders who will move us closer to racial and social justice.

In all, Ms. Scott donated nearly $4.16 billion to 384 organizations, selecting those with strong leadership teams and results. And so these gifts are a powerful endorsement of the two universities, of the high-quality education they provide and the outcomes they make possible. The funds will allow UMES and Bowie State to increase financial aid for students, invest in academic programs and innovations, and expand the institutions’ endowments, enabling long-term stability and growth.

Bowie State and UMES are national leaders in advancing education equity, and they have long graduated students who are a source of strength to the state and the region. This gift allows their work to grow—and all of us in Maryland will benefit.

I congratulate UMES and Bowie State on these historic gifts.

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719