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UMass Receives Record $50 Million Gift

September 3, 2021

The University of Massachusetts announced Thursday it had received a $50 million cash gift, the largest of any kind in the university’s history.

The gift from alumni Robert J. and Donna Manning is aimed at increasing access and opportunity across the five-campus university system. The first distribution of the gift will be $15 million to endow the UMass Boston nursing program to support student diversity and ensure "that the new cohort of nursing professionals are champions of equitable patient care," a press release said.

Currently, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the fastest-growing college at UMass Boston. The undergraduate and graduate population of approximately 2,100 students in the college is 19 percent Black, 12 percent Latinx and 11 percent Asian American/Pacific Islander.

Additionally, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will be renamed the Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The gift was inspired by Donna Manning’s 35-year career as an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center, to which she donated her salary each year.

The Mannings, who were both first-generation college students at the UMass Lowell campus, plan to announce distributions from the gift to the four other UMass campuses. The pair has already committed more than $11 million to UMass Lowell.

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