This effort is funded by the previously announced $12 million gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to support the College’s mission of equity and inclusion in support of student success.
“When we received the gift from MacKenzie Scott in December, we knew immediately that we wanted to use it in areas that would make the greatest impact at Whittier College. Just as importantly, we wanted to waste no time putting it into action,” said President Linda Oubré. “Aware of the economic impact the pandemic has left on our community, we felt a special urgency to act quickly.”
The funds will be distributed to 194 continuing juniors and seniors whose family’s adjusted gross income is less than $50,000. Qualifying juniors will receive scholarships of up to $5,000 and qualifying seniors will receive scholarships of up to $8,000. Recipients will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid with additional information.
“Whittier prides itself on being a national model for providing equitable access to higher education,” added Oubré. “By granting additional financial aid to our neediest students, Whittier College is ensuring all our students have the opportunity to achieve their academic goals.”
It is the College’s intention to spend a portion of the $12 million award every year, for the next six years—allocating $1 million a year for student scholarships. Moreover, through patient and steady investment in faculty diversity, program development, and its Racial Justice and Equity Action Plan, the College will also make good on its promise to continue leading the way as a diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution of higher learning.
In December 2020, Whittier College became one of 384 leading non-profit institutions selected to receive a generous gift from Scott. She specifically selected organizations and organizational leadership that align with her vision to promote racial, LGBTQ, and gender equity, economic mobility, functional democracy, public health, global development, and climate change. Moreover, as a response to the current situation, Scott sought to support organizations working with those hardest hit by the pandemic. Scott’s team took a “data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”