Morehouse College, Spelman College and UNCF to receive $140 million donation from Netflix CEO, wife.
Caption
Morehouse College, Spelman College and UNCF to receive $140 million donation from Netflix CEO, wife.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are making the single-largest individual donation to fund student scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities.

The couple will donate $120 million to Spelman College, Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund. Each will receive $40 million.

The donation comes at a time of crisis for Black men and women in America. Since the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, protesters have flooded streets, calling for equality and justice.

RELATED: Organizer Of Atlanta March Inspired By Activist Grandmother

Hastings and Quillin said they believe investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.

“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. HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. 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 will use the donation to fund a scholarship named for Spelman alumna Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Roundtree was a civil rights and criminal defense attorney whose groundbreaking 1955 bus desegregation case helped dismantle the practice of separate but equal.

Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said that with the funds the college will be able to finance the education of 200 students who will be able to graduate debt free.

"This historic gift in response to the historic moment we're experiencing comes from two people who care deeply about education, equity and the future of our country. We are enormously grateful for this affirmation of the importance of the work that HBCUs do to educate the next generation of Black leaders," Schmidt Campbell said.

Morehouse received another large donation in 2019. Under the Student Success Program, the HBCU can solicit and accept donations to reduce or eliminate the student loan debt of Morehouse graduates.

The first donation to the program was made by philanthropist Robert F. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Smith donated $34 million to cover the costs of student loans for the Morehouse Class of 2019.

RELATED: Billionaire To Pay Off Student Loan Debt For 2019 Morehouse Graduates

The donation from Hastings and Quillin will create the Dr. L. Lomax Student Success Scholarship, named after UNCF chief executive and 1968 Morehouse graduate.

“This life-changing gift from Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings will fund a new generation of Morehouse Men who will be prepared to use their talents to lead and shape America into the nation that it should be—a beacon of opportunity that respects and values the contributions of people of all races, genders, and backgrounds,”  Morehouse President David A. Thomas said.

Quillin and Hastings have given to educational institutions for more than 20 years. They began in 1997 with their support for schools like and including the KIPP charter school network that serves overwhelmingly low-income Black and Latino students. 

The median endowment across all of America’s HBCUs is $15.7 million compared to $36.8 million for non-HBCUs. No HBCU endowment ranks in the top 100, according to a statement from the couple.

RELATED: HBCUs: Honoring The Legacies While Facing Challenges, Threats

In an interview with CBS, Hastings credited Lomax for “offering to help” him and his wife get to know the HBCUs.  

RELATED: For The Culture: Unpacking Beyoncé's 'Homecoming'