MONROVIA, Calif. — A prominent philanthropist gave the only women’s college in Los Angeles its largest donation in school history.

MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, gave $15 million to Mount Saint Mary’s University. Scott has recently given more than $4 billion to organizations and universities around the country to address what she called longterm systemic inequities that have been deepened by the pandemic.

Her donations have gone to helping educate historically marginalized and underserved people. Mount Saint Mary’s student body is one of the most racially diverse in the country. Over 82% of the student population is women of color.

Mount Saint Mary’s University President Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson called the gift transformational.

“Majority of students are truly under resourced," she said. "98% of our students are on significant financial aid. We spend a lot of time raising money to support students and their financial needs. This allows us to continue doing that at a significant level to provide them the resources they need to be successful.”

The gift will help women like student government president Helen Umana, a first-generation student from the San Fernando Valley. Financial aid helped her travel Europe while studying abroad and build her self-confidence.

“My hope is that with the grant, with this gift, it's easier for students to do what I was doing,” Umana said.

Umana’s journey at Mount Saint Mary’s will end in May when she graduates. She said that she feels ready to tackle the world and hopes the donation will allow more women to do the same.

“Knowing that I grew so much here, anywhere else I go, I think I can do the same. If all these students are able to have a transformative journey of leadership and be able to travel and do all these different things, then going out into the real world, they may feel a little bit more secure.”