Donations from Sean "Diddy" Combs and other celebrities in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement have helped propel Howard University's credit rating in the municipal bond market, Black Enterprise reports.
Earlier this year, the Bad Boys Records founder announced at the 2022 BET awards that he would be contributing $1 million to Howard University.
Now, according to a Moody's Investors Service report, Howard University's total cash and investment stands at $880 million, marking a 21 percent increase in fiscal year 2021 due to the endowment returning, federal support during the pandemic, and the $64 million in donations the university has received.
The rapid growth led Moody's to change Howard's issuer rating from Ba2 to Ba1.
“The upgrade of the issuer rating to Ba1 incorporates the university’s improving operating performance, more effective enrollment management, revenue growth, and liquidity gains, Dennis Gephardt, lead analyst at Moody’s, said in a statement. "Increased federal, state and private funds for Howard reflects a shifting societal trend for greater philanthropic and governmental financial support of the mission of minority-serving institutions, a supportive credit element and key driver of the rating action.”
The HBCU also received a whopping $40 million gift from Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in 2020, which contributed to Howard's outlook rating being upgraded from negative to stable.