Transformative $30 Million Gift to BMCC Update

BMCC Community,

There is tremendous gratitude, pride, and enthusiasm around the college in light of our receipt of a $30 million unrestricted gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott. I know you join me in thanking Ms. Scott, for this extraordinary gift that recognizes the huge contribution our college and our students make, and that will enable us to continue to take the college and our students to the next level.

BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe
BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe

I am taking this opportunity to share an update on where we are as we continue to work with CUNY, our Foundation, and Ms. Scott’s representatives to coordinate the transfer of funds, which we hope to receive in the near future. I continue to urge you to think, as I know many of you are, about the ideas and possibilities open to use with this incredible gift.

As stewards for the College and all its students, we are establishing the President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation (“President’s Fund”), and anticipate that the vast majority of funds from this one-time gift will be invested in order to generate an on-going annual income that will be used to support important and forward-thinking initiatives. In this way, we will benefit both our current and future students and College.

The President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation will boost BMCC’s efforts to improve student learning and success, enhance research and knowledge creation, and advance socioeconomic mobility through the transformative power of education. It will support and allow for strategic investment in innovative projects, initiatives, and programming that advance the College’s mission, move BMCC towards realization of the vision, and honor Ms. Scott’s desire to focus on basic needs, equity and inclusion, economic mobility, and support the communities that are disproportionately disadvantaged.

Consistent with the donor’s intent, we are developing a process by which proposed projects can be formally submitted to a committee that will review all proposals and make recommendations to the President, who will make the final decision on projects that will be funded. This committee will be comprised of members of the BMCC community, including faculty, staff, students, and representatives from governance. All projects and initiatives supported with the President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation will be in alignment with the donor’s intent, the mission and vision of the College, and our new Strategic Plan. The specific proposal criteria are currently being developed, and the process, including the establishment of the review committee, will be finalized by early Spring 2021.

The President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation website, which is still being constructed, will offer updates and include an end-of-year report detailing how funds were spent and utilized. I will also provide updates about the President’s Fund to keep our community informed.

Ms. Scott made the announcement, on her blog post on titled, “384 Ways to Help,”where she outlines the process that her team implemented in identifying and selecting the recipients of gifts. Ms. Scott shared a call to action to support organizations, like BMCC, that demonstrate the leadership, vision and commitment to advocate for initiatives that include addressing food insecurity; equity, race and inclusion; economic mobility; support for Black, Latino and LGBTQ communities.

This gift reaffirms BMCC’s on-going commitment to advance these initiatives in significant ways, primarily through education and training. We are grateful to Ms. Scott for recognizing what we do for the betterment of students’ lives, and our community, and for sharing her understanding that it is an ongoing effort – and that all of us can contribute our time, effort and, where possible, money to make a difference.

We should continue to celebrate this generous and game-changing gift. It is an affirmation of the hard work and dedication that we, as a college community, continue to demonstrate to help our students “Start Here” so they can “Go Anywhere.”

BMCC has garnered some media coverage about our exciting gift. Here are some media clips for you to read and share:

BMCC President Anthony Munroe discusses his emotional reaction to hearing news that the college was recipient of a $30 million gift from author MacKenzie Scott
December 16, 2020—The New York Times

BMCC receives $30 million grant from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
December 16-17, 2020—AM New YorkCommunity College Daily, Inside Higher Ed, The Riverdale Press, The IndependentDYNZThe Story ExchangeThe College Post

Historic MacKenzie Scott gift to BMCC and other institution examined by amounts donated
December 18, 2020 — The Washington Post

MacKenzie Scott gifts totaling $60 million to Lehman College and BMCC put into context of amounts given by Scott in the last four months
December 17, 2020 — Bronx Times


These are exciting times, and I look forward to continuing to provide updates and information to all of you. Thank you for your contributions to our amazing college.

Happy Holidays to all of you and your families. Continue to stay safe and mask up!