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LATC receives $10 million donation from novelist MacKenzie Scott

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With a high demand for technical careers and recognition as being one of the best in the country, things have been looking up for Lake Area Tech the past few years. But now with a $10 million donation on the way, the future is even brighter. And it came as a surprise to college administration.

“Somebody’s just given you $10 million dollars. And then you realize, that somebody’s just given you $10 million dollars of their hard earned money.” said LATC President Michael Cartney.

The gift comes from novelist MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. It was announced in a luncheon Monday by the college and Governor Kristi Noem. According to LATC Foundation Executive Director Tracy Hlavacek, it’s the largest single donation from an individual the college has ever received.

“And it wasn’t on our radar, we didn’t know about it. But yet it’s going to leave an incredible impact mark here at Lake Area Tech.” said Hlavacek.

Cartney said the donation will be headed to the college’s campaign to expand and remodel areas of campus to increase student capacity, and focus more attention on in-demand fields.

“This will make a huge difference. Not only for Lake Area Tech, not only for Watertown, but the State of South Dakota. As we, you know, get more and more students coming in here, having their lives changed and launching their careers.” said Cartney.

And Cartney said it’s a recognition of the work LATC has been doing, and the college’s focus on placing graduates in careers that are in need of qualified candidates.

“Especially when you think about, you know that it’s acknowledging all the hard work that the folks here have done. And really, somebody that steps forward and really invest in the great things that you’re doing.” said Cartney.

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