Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, film producer Patty Quillin, are giving $10 million to help underprivileged students at Tougaloo College, an HBCU in Mississippi, pay for their education.
The streaming giant announced the donation on Monday as Hastings and Quillin visited Tougaloo’s campus in Tougaloo, Miss., located about eight miles north of Jackson.
Netflix said half of the California couple’s contribution will go to Tougaloo’s endowment and give annual scholarship funding that supports standout students with high financial need at the school.
“The capital gap in our country is substantial at every level between household wealth and college endowments,” Hastings said on Monday, according to the Clarion Ledger. “This is the beginning of a great partnership with a great college a lot like the one I went to, except for the endowment. We can close those gaps and provide all of our students opportunities.”
The other $5 million, according to Netflix, will be used to establish the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership Scholarship Fund as part of Brown University’s endowment.
Brown is an Ivy League school based in Providence, Rhode Island. It has a 58-year-old partnership with Tougaloo College that has given “life-changing experiences” to students at both schools, according to Brown University President Christina H. Paxson.
“This generous gift from Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin ensures that this truly one-of-a-kind partnership will continue to expand for many decades to come,” Paxson told theGrio in an emailed statement.
Wealthy philanthropists and major corporations have donated millions to HBCUs in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd and the racial reckoning that erupted in corporate America in its aftermath.
Recruitment of HBCU students by major corporations reached all-time record levels last year, according to CNN, though it’s still unclear how many of those students have been hired and retained their jobs.
Netflix said the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership Scholarship Fund will give financial support to Tougaloo students who attend Brown to pursue a graduate degree, medical degree or participate in an academic exchange program in conjunction with the partnership.
Hastings and Quillin said HBCUs like Tougaloo College “have an incredible track record of graduating so many Black leaders across the U.S.” despite being “vastly undervalued.”
“By investing in the extraordinary students who attend Tougaloo and Brown, we’re investing in America’s future,” the couple said in a joint emailed statement.
Chauncey Alcorn contributed to this report
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