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Alumnus Commits $1M to Make a Difference for Undergraduate Students

Planned Gift to Benefit Students Far Into the Future

Michael and Gayle Johnston
Michael Johnston ’69, right, with his wife Gayle Johnston.


Michael Johnston ’69 recently committed $1 million toward a scholarship endowment he founded in 2007, the Johnston Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to students seeking bachelor’s degrees.
As a UML alumnus with a degree in industrial management, Johnston credits his alma mater with providing a well-rounded education that has allowed him to thrive in different positions throughout his career in the global industrial sector. Prior to his retirement, he was chairman/ CEO of Visteon Corporation, an automotive electronics supplier. He has served on the boards of several international corporations including Whirlpool, Flowserve, Armstrong World Industries and Quexco, and is currently chair of the board of Dover Corporation.
“The UMass Lowell education was so rich and broad that I truly believe it gave me the base I needed to achieve my goals. My career ranged from being a shop supervisor to the CEO of a Fortune 150 global company. I think I drew from every course I ever had,” he says. Johnston is making his gift through UML’s planned giving program, naming the university as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Through planned giving, donors are able to make a difference for students by including UML in their immediate and long-term financial and estate plans.
A dedicated supporter of UML, Johnston has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Board and the Campaign Executive Committee. He was inducted into one of the university’s lifetime giving societies, the Circle of Prestige, in 2020 for his generous giving.