UCF receives $40M donation from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

A file image shows then-MacKenzie Bezos attending the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

The University of Central Florida has just received its largest gift in history – from the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. 

Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett announced a $40 million unrestricted gift to the University of Central Florida, officials said. 

"We are honored by Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett’s trust and confidence in the University of Central Florida," says UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. "Their transformational gift validates the work of our faculty and staff to foster student success and these funds will enable us to further increase our impact for generations of students. 

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The gift will be used to help UCF become the world’s leading public metropolitan research university "and inspire others to invest in building a better future for our students and society."

This is the largest gift to UCF in its 58-year history. 

"We chose to make relatively large gifts to [286 organizations], both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others," Scott wrote in the announcement. "Because we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encouraged them to spend it however they choose."