Donor Announces $50 Million Gift to Prairie View A&M University
Based on this recently published article on November 7, 2021 Prairie View A & M University (PVAMU), a Texas HBCU, received a $50 million donation from MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Jeff Bezos, who has quietly given billions of dollars to underfunded organizations since 2020. While this is a brilliant investment benefitting the HBCU and its community, the University will have to figure out best strategies for utilizing this donation in the most efficient and productive way possible. As the article states, there are a variety of needs to be met.
However, there is one need that can not be overlooked by any visitor to the PVAMU campus and that is the lack of a college town to support the university. The City of Prairie View, which was incorporated in 1969, is composed of a bus stop and a gas station. The 10,000 students, staff, and faculty use the 30 plus mile drive to the nearest suburbs of Houston to find supplies, groceries, restaurants, clothing, or overflow housing for incoming freshmen students. The State of Texas provides the university with close to $100 million annually, so the lack of state funding for this HBCU is not an issue.
Here is the HBCU Community Development Corporation’s (HBCUCDC) recommendation for the $50 million gift. Leverage $30 million of the donation to acquire $70 million in private funding. Use the $100 million to initiate a mixed-use development capital infrastructure project composed of housing, retail, and commercial building in conjunction with the City of Prairie View. Such a project provides vitally needed services to the current students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community, with the promise of increasing student enrollment and economic development to the surrounding community.
If your HBCU needs assistance getting started contact us at www.hbcucdc.com