SAC Receives $15 Million from MacKenzie Scott

June 15, 2021

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On the heels of winning the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, San Antonio College has received a $15 million gift from renowned author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett.

The gift is the largest private donation in the college’s 96-year history.

It is also MacKenzie’s second multimillion-dollar donation to an Alamo Colleges District institution in just over six months.

“We are elated at this news,” said SAC President Dr. Robert Vela.  “Just as we are catching our breath after being named the nation’s number-one community college, this donation takes us to yet another level of amazement, excitement, pride – and gratitude.  This investment in SAC’s mission of service will have an enormous long-term impact on the future of our students and the San Antonio community. We are so thankful to Ms. Scott for her belief in us and we are deeply grateful for her generosity.”

In May, SAC was awarded the prestigious Aspen Prize, making it the number-one community college in the nation. The biennial award recognizes educational institutions for transformative practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses. 

Transformative work is also a hallmark of Scott and Jewett’s philanthropy.  They donate to organizations that lead the way in various areas of need, including racial equity and economic mobility.

MacKenzie announced the most recent round of giving on Medium.com today in a post titled “286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear.”  In it she outlined the reasons for her giving choices.

“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” she wrote.  “We chose to make relatively large gifts . . . both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others.”

She also noted that she and her husband spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected. The result was $2,739,000,000 in gifts to 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities “that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”

“On behalf of the Alamo Colleges District community, we are deeply grateful to MacKenzie Scott for her very generous gift to San Antonio College just months after her donation to Palo Alto College, a combined gift of $35 million to the Alamo Colleges,” said Dr. Mike Flores, Alamo Colleges District Chancellor. “I congratulate Dr. Vela and the entire San Antonio College family for this recognition of their dedication to excellence and student success. Coming so soon after the college’s outstanding achievement as the winner of the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, we now see a direct connection in her support to the value Alamo Colleges and San Antonio College hold to our students and community,” he added.

“This gift is truly a cause for celebration and will allow San Antonio College to rise to new heights of student success and community empowerment,” said Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Gene Sprague. “Ms. Scott’s gifts to Palo Alto College and San Antonio College also celebrate the Alamo Colleges District’s offering to our students the highest quality education that will not only prepare them for a great career, but also lead to social and economic mobility,” he added.

San Antonio College, part of the Alamo Colleges District, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It provides high quality general education, liberal arts and sciences, career education, continuing education and developmental education. One of the largest single-campus community colleges in the state and nation, SAC enrolls approximately 20,000 students each semester and awards more than 5,000 degrees and certificates each year. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/sac.

At the Alamo Colleges District, high quality education and affordable costs provide exceptional value to students and alumni who are major contributors to the economy and culture of our community. For more information, go to www.alamo.edu.