IRSC earmarks philanthropist‘s $45 million gift for low-income students, career training
BY SUZANNE SELDES
On the day of its 2020 commencement ceremony, Indian River State College announced it has received the largest single donation in its 60-year history from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
“We are especially grateful for Ms. Scott’s generosity and her confidence in IRSC’s critical mission,” IRSC president, Dr. Timothy Moore, said. “The magnitude of this gift will positively transform lives for generations of IRSC students. It accelerates our ability to redefine our College and reframe the narrative on how American community colleges can better serve all of our constituencies.”
Equity and economic mobility for students is at the forefront of the college’s agenda under Moore. The donation will allow IRSC to more quickly expand and grow strategic initiatives that support access and outreach to low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented populations. It will also be able to expand essential career training and degree programs for in-demand jobs and encourage entrepreneurism and develop critical partnerships that bring new opportunities and ideas to the Treasure Coast region and the nation.
IRSC is among 384 organizations selected after Scott’s team of advisers considered some 6,500 organizations along with data analysis on community needs, program outcomes, and each nonprofit’s capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding.
The announcement was made in December on Scott’s blog. Donations were focused on those “operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”
In 2019, Scott pledged to give away her entire fortune, and in July she accelerated her giving. In the past four months, she has donated $4.16 billion.
About Indian River State College
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The college — ranked second-most-affordable in the nation in the Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Report — annually serves nearly 30,000 students in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. It offers more than 100 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Ninety-one percent of IRSC students graduate debt free.
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