Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings Give $120 Million to Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org

Patty Quillin, philanthropist, and Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, have given $40 million each to UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Spelman College and Morehouse College. This is the largest ever individual gift in support of student scholarships at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The money will be used to fund scholarships so that students graduate with less debt and more opportunity.

“We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future,” said Quillin and Hastings. “Both of us had the privilege of a great education, and we want to help more students—in particular students of color—get the same start in life. HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions—helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country.”

As America searches for ways to start addressing the inequities faced by black people in America, UNCF, Spelman College and Morehouse College urge other philanthropists to invest in HBCUs. HBCUs have proven they can improve mobility and create new generations of leaders—helping increase justice, equality and opportunity in America. Yet they are disadvantaged when it comes to philanthropy. The median endowment across all of America’s HBCUs is $15.7 million compared to $36.8 million for non-HBCUs. No HBCU endowment ranks in the top 100.

“​This gift from Patty and Reed comes from two people who care deeply about education, equity and the future of our country. We are enormously grateful for their affirmation of the work of Spelman College.​” – ​Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman College President

“This gift speaks volumes about the value that must be placed on what institutions such as ours do for the nation and the world.” – ​Dr. David A. Thomas, Morehouse College President

“I am uplifted by the incredible support of Patty and Reed whose commitment has reaffirmed that we can overcome these challenges together. Dr. King famously reminded us that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ I believe the arc does not bend toward justice on its own. We must bend it with all the strength and power we have. Patty and Reed are helping bend the arc toward justice. I am buoyed and uplifted by their commitment and generosity. I feel a profound sense of responsibility to steward their incredible gift to maximum impact and ensure that it advances their belief in and commitment to the principle that ‘Black lives matter.’”​ ​– ​Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF CEO

Call to Action
Quillin and Hastings have long given to educational institutions, starting in 1997 with their support for schools like Spelman and Morehouse and including the KIPP charter school network that serves overwhelmingly low-income black and Latino students. By giving $120 million to UNCF, Spelman College and Morehouse College, they hope to encourage other donors, charitable foundations and businesses to support black students and HBCUs. They believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.

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About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College, a historically black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical and leadership development of its students. Home to 2,100 students, Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the many cultures of the world and inspires a commitment to positive social change. Designated by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, the College is the country’s leading producer of black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math. Recent initiatives include a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. With an annual six-year graduation rate 30 points higher than the average for African Americans nationally, Spelman graduates students who win prestigious national and international awards, nearly every year, including Fulbright, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, Rangel and Pickering. U.S. News and World Report 2020 rankings list Spelman as No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 22 for undergraduate teaching, No. 6 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges and No. 1 for the 13th year among HBCUs.

About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the only historically black college focused on educating men. Founded in 1867, the College is the nation’s top producer of black men who go on to receive doctorates. Morehouse is also the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs with five Morehouse Men receiving the honor. The College was recently named on the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most 2019-20 Fulbright Scholars, the nation’s flagship international educational exchange program. Prominent alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Morehouse currently has more than 17,000 alumni in 14 countries.

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.