UMass system receives two major donations totaling over $200 million in September

“We firmly believe that UMass is the most important asset in the Commonwealth, and that the greatest thing we can do to support the Commonwealth is to support the UMass campuses and UMass students.”

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Alex Genovese, Assistant News Editor

The University of Massachusetts system received two major donations totaling over $200 million in the month of September. According to a press release from the UMass Office of Communications, the University system will receive “a cash gift of $50 million from Robert J. and Donna Manning.” Robert Manning is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the UMass system and the chairman of MFS Investment Management. Donna Manning was an oncology nurse for 35 years at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The donation was the largest that the UMass system has ever received and was “aimed at increasing access and opportunity across the five-campus university system,” read the press release. “The first distribution of the $50 million will be $15 million to endow the UMass Boston nursing program, which will become the Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences.”

The press release also noted that “the Mannings plan to announce distributions from the overall gift to improve access and opportunity on the other UMass campuses in Amherst, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester” in the coming months.

“We firmly believe that UMass is the most important asset in the Commonwealth, and that the greatest thing we can do to support the Commonwealth is to support the UMass campuses and UMass students,” said Robert Manning in a statement.

“[The donation] says that UMass is a good investment and an opportunity to have direct and immediate impact on the future of the Commonwealth. On behalf of the five campuses, we thank the Mannings for their incredible generosity and commitment to students,” said UMass President Marty Meehan.

Both of the Manning’s graduated from UMass Lowell, where the Manning School of Business is named after them.

The University system also saw an $175 million donation from the Chan family through the Morningside Foundation. According to a separate University press release, “UMass Medical School will be renamed the UMass Chan Medical School.” Additionally, “its three graduate schools will be renamed: the T.H. Chan School of Medicine; the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing; and the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.”

The press release explained that T.H. Chan is the late patriarch of the Chan family, who was deeply committed to supporting higher education. Tan Chingfen was a nurse who administered vaccines to neighborhood children in the 1950s according to the family. Morningside reflects the name of the family’s investment group and foundation.

“This gift is a powerful statement about the stature—and the potential—of our medical school, a very special place. The confidence this historic gift conveys about our medical school is breathtaking, permitting us to recruit renowned and innovative faculty, conduct more breakthrough biomedical research, offer financial support to highly qualified and diverse students; and be ever more expansive in fulfilling our public service mission,” said Michael Collins, the chancellor of the UMass Medical School, in an announcement alongside Gov. Charlie Baker, UMass President Marty Meehan, and members of the UMass Board of Trustees.

“On behalf of the citizens of the commonwealth and the many future health professionals and educators who stand to benefit from this transformational gift to Massachusetts’ first and only public medical school, we are grateful to The Morningside Foundation and the Chan family for their incredible generosity,” said Baker in a statement.

Alex Genovese can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @alex_genovese1.