Support from Alumni, Friends Continues to Grow
By Nancy Cicco
UMass Lowell is breaking records in fundraising.
For the second consecutive year, the university has secured a record number of private donations and pledges, boosting student scholarships and endowment funds by 16 percent over last year, extending an upward trend since 2010.
UMass Lowell has the fastest-growing endowment among public universities in Massachusetts, according to a recent report by the Boston Business Journal. Over the past year, the university raised $17.6 million in private support, including $5.3 million toward its $51.6 million endowment.
The fundraising gains represent an increase in across-the-board support by alumni, parents, faculty, staff, friends, corporations and foundations, as the number of UMass Lowell donors grew by 7.9 percent over last year. Alumni participation alone has increased from 7.4 percent four years ago to 11 percent this year.
“We are so very grateful to our donors, who embrace the university’s mission as a world-class leader in education,” UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan said. “They are truly partners in our success, ensuring our students receive an education that prepares them for life, for work and the evolving challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace of commerce and ideas.”
Private fundraising is an essential aspect of funding the high-quality education UMass Lowell provides its students and supports its role as an economic engine that pumps $490 million into the regional economy. UMass Lowell’s state appropriation funds approximately 24 percent of the university’s budget, down from 51 percent a decade ago.
Over the last five years, the university has secured $65.8 million in private gifts and pledges. Fundraising over the last two years has resulted in $19.7 million toward UMass Lowell building projects, including the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC), Pulichino Tong Business Building and the Health and Social Sciences Building.
“The continued generosity of our alumni and friends is a testament to their belief in the mission, vision and direction of UMass Lowell,” said Edward Chiu, vice chancellor for university advancement.
UMass Lowell’s annual fundraising is now 88 percent more than it was four years ago. Other key fundraising successes over the past year include:
- A $4 million gift toward student scholarships by UMass Lowell alumnus John Pulichino ’67 and his wife, Joy Tong, entrepreneurs for whom the university’s new business school building will be named.
- A $1.25 million gift from UMass Lowell alumnus Barry Perry ’68.The gift enabled the university to make infrastructure improvements to its Engineering Building – renamed Perry Hall – and to build the Perry Atrium inside the ETIC, opening this fall.
- Nearly $700,000 in gifts for student scholarships during this year’s Commencement Eve Celebration. Since 2008, more than $2.2 million for scholarships has been raised during this annual event, which has broken its own fundraising records each year. In the last academic year, $900,000 in scholarships was awarded to 1,150 students.
“Because I am a graduate who has hired a number of UMass Lowell graduates, I see how my gifts directly impact students, the community and even my own business,” said Richard A. Pierro Jr., president of Superior Controls Inc., who recently endowed the Richard Pierro ’83 Chemical Engineering Endowed Scholarship Fund. “Scholarship assistance allows students to concentrate more fully on their studies instead of how they will pay for college. This results in increased access to higher education and students who are better-prepared for the workplace when they graduate.”