Oprah Winfrey now has the largest endowment ever at Morehouse College in Atlanta after donating $13 million, according to a news release from the school.
Winfrey visited the all men’s historically black college Monday for the 30th anniversary of the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program, the release said. The program started in 1989 and the fund stands at $12 million. Monday’s donation of $13 million pushed her total investment to $25 million.
“Seeing you young Oprah Winfrey scholars here today has moved me deeply,” Winfrey said Monday before announcing her donation. “I am so proud of you, I’m proud of everybody in attendance at this school who is seeking to know more clearly who you are, the value you hold and how you will share that value with the rest of the world.”
Winfrey’s donation comes after billionaire Robert Smith promised to pay off the student loan debt of the 2019 Morehouse graduates in May. Smith donated $34 million to the school last month, making good on his promise.
“I’m grateful to Oprah Winfrey for her generosity,” said Morehouse President David A. Thomas.”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.”
The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program has funded the education of about 600 scholars, the school’s release said, including Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin who was elected in 2017 as the city’s youngest mayor in more than a century.
Nathan Rolle, a senior international studies major and journalism minor, is a current Oprah Scholar who met Winfrey Monday.
“I’ve looked up to Mrs. Winfrey my entire life,” Rolle said in the news release. “This day is the highlight of my Morehouse experience.”