By By Chris Camire, Lowell Sun
BOSTON -- Thirty years ago, Robert Manning drove a car held together with duct tape from Methuen to UMass Lowell to start his freshman year of college.
This Saturday morning, Manning will deliver the commencement address before the university's graduating class at the Tsongas Center. But UMass Lowell can expect more than sage advice from one of the school's most successful alumni.
Manning and his wife, Donna, are making a multimillion-dollar commitment to the university that will invest more than $5 million in a new College of Management building and the newly named Robert Manning School of Business, as well as help fund the school's nursing program.
"Donna and I are the first generation in our families to go to college," said Manning, 47. "We didn't have a lot of money then. We've never forgotten what UMass Lowell meant to us."