Donation from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett will bolster university’s commitment to student success, expanding educational opportunities.

  Tuesday, June 15, 2021
  Around Campus, Announcements

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JUNE 15, 2021 – Today is a momentous day in the history of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as it received a transformative $40 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to enhance its mission of student success and expanding educational opportunities.

Philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett
Philanthropists Dan Jewett and MacKenzie Scott gifted a historic $40 million to UTRGV on Tuesday to go toward enhancing student success and expanding educational opportunities. (Photo via The Giving Pledge)

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the grant will provide much-needed scholarship money for students not just as they enter college, but throughout their educational journey.  

“This is truly a significant day for UTRGV that should be celebrated by all of us. We are extremely grateful to Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett for their incredible generosity,” Bailey said. “This gift, and the support we continue to receive from many others, will help UTRGV continue to transform the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.”

Scott and Jewett recognized UTRGV based on its success as the second-largest Hispanic Serving Institution in the country and its proven ability to transform the lives of underserved students through higher education.

Recently, UTRGV ranked first in Texas and fifth nationally in the performance of Pell-eligible students; first in Texas and 11th nationally in the performance of first-generation students; and second in Texas and 29th nationally in the social mobility of our students. UTRGV is also the first among national public universities with the lowest student debt.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.