Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Donates $120 Million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Hastings’ and his wife’s grant funds over 200 full scholarships to first-year students at Morehouse and Spelman College

Last Updated: June 17, 2020 @ 8:18 AM

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings and his wife, philanthropist Patty Quillin, will donate $120 million to several historically black colleges and universities and the United Negro College Fund.

Hastings and Quillin said $40 million will be equally donated to the Washington, D.C.-based United Negro College Fund and Atlanta, Ga. headquartered colleges Spelman College, and Morehouse College.

The donation will help over 200 first-year students enroll at Morehouse College and Spelman over the next decade, Hastings and Quillin said in a statement co-signed by Spelman College president Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell. Students that enroll under the scholarship will receive free tuition, room and board for the duration of their undergraduate studies.

“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,” Quillin and Hastings said in a joint statement issued Wednesday. “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.”

Both Quillin and Hastings said their most recent donation is the latest of several efforts to fund schools that predominantly serve black and brown Americans, dating back to 1997 investments in the KIPP charter school network. The two said that while HBCUs are known for producing incredible students and faculty, they are generally under-funded by outside donors compared to white colleges.

“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, White capital flows to predominantly White institutions, perpetuating capital isolation,” Hastings and Quillin said. “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.”

Spelman president Campbell said the college will use its funding to start a scholarship named for alumna Dovey Johnson Roundtree — a civil rights attorney who worked on the groundbreaking 1955 bus desegregation case. The donation to Spelman will allow it to admit 20 new first-year students and provide them full scholarships, room and board.

“At the end of 10 years we will have educated 200 students who will graduate debt free,” Campbell said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s a liberating gift, that will allow our students to work toward change in their respective communities and careers without financial strain.”

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