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Sequoia’s Michael Mortiz Is Investing Big in Low-Income Students

Sequoina Capital Ltd Chairman Mike Moritz InterviewSequoina Capital Ltd Chairman Mike Moritz Interview
Mike Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital LLC.Photograph by Simon Dawson—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chairman of Sequoia Capital Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman are donating $50 million to the University of Chicago.

This donation fulfills half of the university’s fundraising goals for the purpose of expanding programs that cater to low-income students. The New York Times reports that it will go towards the school’s Odyssey program and Collegiate Scholars Program.

The Odyssey program gives low-income students with financial assistance by ridding them of student loans and work-study requirements. It also gives them access to opportunities they may not have otherwise had, like summer internships and additional academic programs. With Mortiz and Heyman’s donation, the program can include study abroad options as well.

The donation will also allow the University of Chicago, Heyman’s alma mater, to include more students in its Collegiate Scholars Program. Through the program, low-income students from Chicago public schools can take college-level courses and receive assistance in applying to undergraduate schools. Some students that have participated in the program ended up going to ivy league schools, including Harvard and Princeton.


“The vast majority of our giving has been aimed at trying to help talented young people eager to make their way in the world who, unless they receive financial support, are unable to do so,” Mortiz told the Times. The couple has also previously donated $115 million to Mortiz’s alma mater, the Univeristy of Oxford, to go towards financial assistance efforts.