GREAT FALLS — Blackfeet Community College in Browning announced this week that it has received a "substantial gift" from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
Although the amount of the gift has not yet been disclosed, school officials said in a news release that "Scott’s historic donation is the largest philanthropic gift that the college has ever received."
The college was included in a round of large donations to 384 organizations across the country, totaling about $4,158,500,000. Five other tribal colleges are among the recipients, including Chief Dull Knife College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Salish Kootenai College.
According to the news release, Scott’s team of advisors identified organizations that were “operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”
Blackfeet Community College said that Scott’s gift will "ensure the long-term viability of the Blackfeet Community College," and the school will be using the money to "build educational pathways for students, as well as launching sustainability endeavors for the college. These funds will ensure that the college will continue to have a prosperous future."
Another Montana organization is also grateful for Scott's philanthropy - the YWCA in Billings is now one big step closer to its $3 million project to house the homeless and victims of domestic violence. The agency announced Wednesday that it had received a $1 million grant from Scott, which will go toward construction of a 24-unit complex.
The YWCA has space on its campus at 909 Wyoming Avenue for the building but no money. That's when Scott stepped in with the surprise, no-strings-attached grant, which officials at the YWCA didn't apply for and didn't know was coming.
Scott is the former wife of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. When they divorced in 2019, she granted her ex-husband 75% of the Amazon stock co-owned by the pair, and Scott walked away as the world’s 18th-richest person, with a $60.7 billion net worth.