World's richest woman MacKenzie Scott gifts $40M to UCF


  • Photo via UCF

It's not exactly eating the rich, but MacKenzie Scott's new donation to the University of Central Florida will allow students to eat for quite some time.

An unrestricted $40 million gift from Scott is the largest ever received in the history of the university. The gift was part of a $2.7 billion philanthropy blitz that donated to 286 arts organizations, historic venues, social justice initiatives and universities. The donations were made in the name of Scott and her husband Dan Jewett. UCF reports that the $40 million will go into their endowment to fund scholarships and research.

 “We are honored by Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett’s trust and confidence in the University of Central Florida,” UCF President Alexander Cartwright shared in a statement. “Their transformational gift validates the work of our faculty and staff to foster student success and these funds will enable us to further increase our impact for generations of students. This unrestricted investment will accelerate our trajectory toward becoming the world’s leading public metropolitan research university and inspire others to invest in building a better future for our students and society.” 

Scott, author and ex-wife of Amazon's Jeff Bezos, instantly became the richest woman on planet Earth following her divorce in 2019. With an ownership stake of four percent in the megacorporation, her individual net worth skyrocketed to nearly $40 billion.  She has given away sizable chunks of that wealth in philanthropic efforts.

While the $40 million will do UCF a lot of good, it can never compare to the effect that portions of wealth like Scott's and Bezos' could do if it was properly taxed and used in the service of providing more humane lives for all Americans. A system designed so that no one person could amass such obscene wealth, one that instead offered all people the right to the fruits of their labor, would be even better.

In our current system where we're left thankful for the scraps dropped by history's biggest cheats, all we can hope is that the UCF funding help creates some future comrades in the fight against exploitation. And we're willing to admit that Scott's move is a damn sight better than using your money to piss off into outer space.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.