Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings is donating $20 million to Minerva University, styled as a next-generation institution of higher learning.
Founded in 2012 with $25 million in venture capital from Benchmark, San Francisco-based Minerva University is a US accredited not-for-profit university with more than 600 students and nearly 600 alumni. With Hastings’ $20 million donation, Minerva University said, the school plans to “support students with high financial need through scholarships,” increase awareness and enrollment, and expand existing offerings to students and create new ones, from academic programs to labs and research initiatives. . Hastings’ previous grant to Minerva supported four-year scholarships for about 100 students.
“I am excited to support Minerva in its next phase of global growth,” Hastings said in a statement. “This gift is intended to set Minerva on a path toward educating thousands more students around the world and dramatically increasing its positive impact.”
Hastings has a long track record as an educational philanthropist. In 2020, Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, gave $120 million to Spelman College, Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund to endow scholarships at historically black colleges and universities. Last year, the couple donated $10 million to Mississippi’s HBCU Tougaloo College. Hastings and Quillin support the KIPP Foundation, which operates a national network of tuition-free charter schools serving low-income communities of color.
Minerva combines its graduate program with “a pathbreaking cross-contextual interdisciplinary curriculum” with an immersive residential experience spanning seven countries with “state-of-the-art digital learning environments.” The university’s undergraduate degree programs incorporate a similar approach to learning. Minerva University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC).
Hastings commented, “Minerva graduates’ depth of global cultural understanding, intellectual skills that transcend disciplines, and problem-solving abilities are unique in higher education. I see incredible potential for Minerva University to increase its positive impact on the world.”
Minerva President Mike Magee said in a statement, “I am honored that Reed Hastings recognizes the uniqueness of our approach at Minerva University and how we educate students to have a profound positive impact on the world. Reed deeply supports access to quality education for all students, and this incredibly generous gift validates our efforts to provide global higher education for a better world.”
Hastings currently has about $3.4 billion in wealth tied to his holdings in Netflix stock. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1983 from Bowdoin College in Maine. He holds a master’s degree in artificial intelligence from Stanford University.