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Navajo Technical University Receives $12 Million From MacKenzie Scott’s Giving Campaign


Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, N.M., has received $12 million from the philanthropist MacKenzie Scott as part of her multi-billion-dollar giving campaign this year. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

According to the philanthropist and author, the funds are meant to benefit “education for historically marginalized and underserved people.”

NTU President Elmer J. Guy says he’s grateful and humbled to be included, and the university will hold a hearing before committing the money to specific projects.

“This donation affirms the work we’ve been doing in educating our students while positively impacting the communities we serve. We’re grateful for the gracious gift, which will be felt by communities throughout the Four Corners region,” Guy said in a press release.

NTU is among five tribal colleges and universities to receive a donation from Scott this year. It’s one of two higher education institutions on the Navajo Nation and focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has given away about $6 billion this year. Much of the money is aimed at reversing what she says are systemic inequities that have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In all, 384 organizations across the country were recipients of funds. They include civil rights groups, debt relief organizations and employment training as well as emergency funds that assist those hard hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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