Having already pledged $ 11 million to UMass Lowell, Robert and Donna Manning of Swampscott overcame this example of generosity with the largest cash donation in University of Massachusetts history.
The Mannings, described by UMass as high school sweethearts and Methuen natives who both commuted to what is now UMass Lowell in the 1980s, accepted a $ 50 million gift. The money will be “aimed at increasing access and opportunities across the five-campus university system,” the university said.
âThe importance of this gift cannot be overstated,â UMass President Marty Meehan said in a statement accompanying Wednesday morning’s announcement. âRob and Donna are two of us. As first generation college graduates, they experienced the transformational impact of UMass on student lives. Rob and Donna have always led by example in their philanthropy, and this gift remarkable is a call to action to the philanthropic community He says UMass is a good investment and an opportunity to have a direct and immediate impact on the future of the Commonwealth.
According to UMass, Donna Manning’s 35-year career as an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center inspired the decision to make the first distribution of the donation – a $ 15 million expenditure to endow the UMass Boston nursing program. , which would become the Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health.
“For most of my career in Boston, I was struck by how most nurses looked like me while most patients didn’t look like me,” Donna Manning said in a statement. âUMass Boston plays a vital role in supporting diversity in Boston, and I have seen first-hand how diversity in nurses can improve patient care and address health inequalities. We look forward to actively working with the college on these important goals. “
The Mannings plan to announce distributions to the other UMass campuses in Amherst, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester in the coming months.
Robert Manning began working as a research analyst at MFS Investment Management after graduating in Information Systems Management from the Lowell Campus in 1984. He became President and CEO of MFS, which grew to manage more of $ 670 billion in assets per year. He plans to retire this year.