SAN ANTONIO – When Palo Alto College President Dr. Robert Garza learned Monday that the college had received what he called an “8-figure donation” from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, he initially thought it was a joke.
”I couldn’t believe my ears because I said, ‘You know, this doesn’t happen for community colleges,’” Garza said Wednesday.
Garza said students will be the priority for the use of the funds.
”Scholarships is one big focal point that we are also looking for,” he said. “The second is we’re going to be working with our students that are on food insecurity and housing insecurity or need just a bit of extra help.”
Expanded programming is also a part of Palo Alto’s future plans, Garza said.
”In about three years, Palo Alto College will be opening up a new dental hygiene program,” he said.
Garza called the donation “a transitional amount,” but did not disclose the exact amount.
“These dollars will go a long way for our students in our community, and not just in the short term, but we’re talking about transitional change for generations to come,” he said.
Other organizations in Bexar County receiving funds from Scott include the San Antonio Food Bank, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, LIftFund, Goodwill Industries and the YWCA.