Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin have donated $120 million to support scholarships for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hastings announced the offering — the largest donation of its kind — in an interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday (June 17).
“What happens is that white capital tends to flow to predominantly white institutions. It’s just what you know and are comfortable with and have grown up with,” Hastings told King. “[Dr. Michael Lomax] offered to help Patty and I get to know the HBCUs… And then this year, with the tragedy in America and everyone feeling hopeless, we realized this is the time to do something bigger, and to really try to bring the HBCU story front and center.”
The donation will be split between Morehouse College, Spelman College and the United Negro College Fund.
“This gift is such an affirmation of all of those gifted, hardworking students who want to come to places like Spelman and Morehouse,” Spelman College’s Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell told King. “Now we have the resources to support 200 students, each of us, over the next ten years. That’s a game-changer.”
Campbell also revealed that Hastings and Quillin did not ask that their donation be named after them, which means the universities can name the scholarships after their own alumni.
“We realized that if we really wanna support the HBCUs in the right way, we should dig deeper,” said Hastings. “And so that’s where, you know, Patty and I wanted to really go big and really start the ball rolling... As big and wonderful as this gift is, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the need.”
“In both cases, we really want the gift to symbolize, you know, great Black achievement, through the HBCUs,” he added.
Watch a clip from the interview below.