In summary

The $135 million she gave to four California State University campuses bolsters the transformative effect of higher education.

By Lillian Kimbell, Special to CalMatters

Lillian Kimbell is the chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, [email protected]

As much as it may stir the innovative spirit for a civilian to rocket into space for a brief joyride normally reserved for trained astronauts, our greater admiration goes to the richest among us who devote their resources to boosting upward mobility right here on the ground.

Novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott (and ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos) chose not to further enrich the endowment of an elite university in exchange for an eponymously named campus building. Instead, she gave a total of $135 million to several campuses of California State University, the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year public university — and a stepladder to upward mobility for the less privileged. 

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