On Monday, the media mogul and philanthropist made another donation that will help students at an HBCU receive an education. Since Oprah Winfrey was in town celebrating the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios, she made an appearance at Morehouse College on Monday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Established in 1989, Oprah created this program with $12 million and has since helped educate roughly 600 students of the school. To this date, the $12 million dollar gift was the largest donation to the school received from an individual donor. This is not to be confused with the kind act billionaire Robert F. Smith did in paying off the loans of the most recent graduating class, as his $34 million donation went to the students' loan providers and not the school.
Oprah said while taking the stage, “Seeing you young Oprah Winfrey scholars here today has moved me deeply. I was really surprised to learn that it’s been 30 years since I made that $12 million donation to Morehouse, so today I would like to add $13 million to that.” Oprah renewed her commitment to educating the students at Morehouse by pledging the $13 million, setting another record for the largest individual donation the college has received.
The President of Morehouse College David A. Thomas said in a statement, “I’m grateful to Oprah Winfrey for her generosity. I am also feeling hopeful for Morehouse and what it has garnered in terms of philanthropic support with gifts like Oprah’s and Robert Smith’s. I am hopeful that this will also get others to step up with their support of Morehouse, but even more broadly, historically black colleges and universities.”
This donation comes on the heels of Winfrey's matching donation of $1.15 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) while attending the UNCF Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon in Charlotte, NC last Saturday.