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Woman Describes How It Felt To Be Handed $8 Million By MacKenzie Scott

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Woman Describes How It Felt To Be Handed $8 Million By MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott handed the president of a US tribal college $8 million (£5.8m) with absolutely no strings attached.

The billionaire, who was married to Jeff Bezos until 2019, is well-known for her philanthropy, frequently stumping up large sums of cash for good causes.

And one such cause Scott wanted to help out was Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, North Dakota - one of the first tribal colleges ever opened in the US - which has around 500 students, the majority of whom are from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Turtle Mountain Community College. Credit: Turtle Mountain Community College/Facebook
Turtle Mountain Community College. Credit: Turtle Mountain Community College/Facebook
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In a recent interview with Slate, Turtle Mountain Community College president Donna Brown described the moment she was told the college would be receiving such a hefty donation.

Brown told the publication: "When I first received an email, it just said, 'There's a donor who's potentially interested in giving money to the college. Would you have time to have a conversation with me?'

"And that's really all it said. So it was kind of, 'Is this real? Is this fake? What's the deal?' But I did have a conversation with somebody doing some research for [Scott].

Turtle Mountain Community College president Donna Brown. Credit: Thosh Collins
Turtle Mountain Community College president Donna Brown. Credit: Thosh Collins
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"By the end of the conversation, she basically said that MacKenzie would be giving us $8 million."

She added: "I happened to be driving at the time. I almost had to pull over the side of the road.

"My jaw dropped. The most we'd received prior to this was $300,000. So to get $8 million was mind-blowing. I didn't know if it was real."

Fortunately for Brown and the college, it was very real and came with absolutely no stipulations from Scott about where it should go.

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Mackenzie Scott. Credit: PA
Mackenzie Scott. Credit: PA

Brown went on to say that Scott didn't hand over the cash with an intention to 'accomplish her goals' but instead wanted the college to 'fulfill our own mission, and in a way that we find appropriate, in the best way to serve our people'.

With the cash, the college has set the wheels in motion to get itself accredited to create its first ever masters-level programme, as well as investing 'a portion of it' to help safeguard its future.

Brown added: "We'll always have some money available to spend to expand in ways that our community needs, and know that three years from now, we're not going to be broke again."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Interesting, US News

Claire Reid
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