Rists' Latest Gift Supports Students in the Manning School of Business

Manning School of Business Rist Deanship
Manning School of Business Dean Sandra Richtermeyer with Brian Rist.


Contacts for media: Emily Gowdey-Backus: Emily_GowdeyBackus@uml.edu and Nancy Cicco: Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu 

Alumnus and longtime UMass Lowell philanthropist Brian Rist ’77, and his wife Kim, have again bestowed their generosity on the university – this time investing $3 million in the next generation of River Hawk entrepreneurs. 

In their latest gift, the Rists focused their philanthropy on the UMass Lowell Robert J. Manning School of Business endowing the college’s deanship – a first for the university. The endowment helps those struggling with financial hardship to stay in school and connect Manning School of Business students with a vast array of industry services and opportunities.

Sandra Richtermeyer, who has served as the Manning School of Business dean since July 2016, was named the inaugural Rist Family Foundation Dean of the Manning School of Business at the April 14 investiture ceremony. 

“Kim and I endowed the deanship in the Manning School of Business because it ensures support for business school students of today and tomorrow,” said Rist, himself a first-generation college student who would go on to be an entrepreneur and inventor. “The deanship recognizes Dean Richtermeyer’s energy and tenacity, and it will be a tool for future recruitment of quality faculty.”

Rist cited recent gifts to UMass Lowell from alumni Rob, ’84, ’11 (H), and Donna Manning, ’85, ’91, ’11 (H), saying their leadership and generosity inspired him and his wife.

A significant milestone for the university, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney was grateful to the Rist Family Foundation for its continued patronage of the River Hawks community.

“There is no better time, as we reemerge from the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, to commit to and invest in the next generation of economists, entrepreneurs, innovators and financial professionals,” said Chancellor Moloney, “I thank the Rist Family Foundation, Brian and Kim in particular, for their generosity and foresight.”

In her six-year tenure, Richtermeyer oversaw the school’s move into the $47 million Pulichino Tong Business Center. “Brian’s giving has made a significant difference on our ability to advance and elevate the career preparation of our students. The endowment also provides emergency support for students with urgent financial needs and allows them to stay in school and continue the pursuit of their degrees.”

In addition to his dollars, Rist is also generous with his time, said Richtermeyer. “Brian comes back to campus. Students love talking to him. Faculty love discussing ideas with him. He inspires us and he is willing to share his expertise.”

The endowment builds on a discretionary fund designed to help students further their professional interests by expanding their reach attending conferences and competitions, joining industry groups, networking with alumni, and conducting research with faculty.  

The Manning School of Business delivers high quality, accessible undergraduate and graduate education, produces influential market research, and provides an inclusive learning environment. UMass Lowell business students engage in entrepreneurial opportunities to explore innovation and the power of inter-disciplinary collaboration through programs offered by the college.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe. www.uml.edu