MacKenzie Scott earmarks $5 million to RTC

  • Published Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Renton Technical College received a transformative gift of $5 million from Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett through their participation in the Giving Pledge. It is the largest gift ever made to the college and will allow RTC to pursue strategic priorities to advance the college’s mission.

Scott announced the gift in a Medium post this morning. RTC is among 286 organizations nationwide to be selected to share $2.8 billion and the only two-year college in Washington in this round of their giving.

“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” she wrote.

The Giving Pledge is a movement of philanthropists who commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills. It aims to shift the norms of philanthropy among the world’s wealthiest people by inspiring them to give more, establish their giving plans sooner, and give in smarter ways.

“This extraordinary contribution will empower Renton Technical College to advance our mission of equity and student success in new and innovative ways,” RTC President Kevin McCarthy said. “With college budgets notoriously tight, this gift will allow us the flexibility to reimagine our approach to serving our diverse student population. There are simply no words to properly convey the depth of our gratitude for the faith placed in RTC and our commitment to meeting all students where they are and moving them forward to greater opportunity.”

McCarthy said he looks forward to engaging the campus community in discussions about how to invest the funding in strategic ways consistent with the college’s values and mission. He said the gift recognizes the entire college community and its success in educating a diverse student population. It will serve as a catalyst for the future.

“Because we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encouraged them to spend it however they choose,” Scott wrote.

RTC offers a mix of short- and long-term career training programs, transfer options, applied bachelor’s degrees, college preparatory adult basic education classes, and courses for English language learners. Nearly 70 percent of students identify as students of color.

“I have always believed in the power of RTC to change lives,” said Kirby Unti, chair of the RTC Board of Trustees. “It’s gratifying to know MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett recognize the important ways in which the college serves students from underrepresented communities and helps them pursue their dreams.”

Press contact: Katherine Hedland Hansen,


Photo courtesy MacKenzie Scott.