UMass Amherst Raises Record $379 Million through UMass Rising Campaign to Support the Commonwealth’s Flagship Campus

AMHERST, Mass.— The University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation announced today that the UMass Rising Campaign, the largest philanthropic campaign in the history of Massachusetts public higher education, has raised $379 million for the commonwealth’s flagship campus, significantly surpassing the $300 million goal that had been set at the campaign’s outset.

The significant infusion of private resources from the campaign, including $108 million raised for the university’s permanent endowment, will have far-reaching effects and reflects the growing importance of philanthropy in fueling the university’s strategic priorities. More than 103,000 donors contributed to the campaign. The five largest gifts in university history were received during this campaign.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “Through the success of UMass Rising, we will support our faculty and students while creating a world-class environment. We will build on our new culture of philanthropy and inspire the next generation to come forward in continued support of the university. We will seize this moment in our history and ensure our ongoing momentum. I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who made UMass Rising such a historic success.”

Highlights of the campaign include:

  • $61 million raised for financial aid, fortifying our commitment to providing access and opportunity for our students

  • $164 million raised for academic and research programs, which is 169% of our $97 million goal

  • $42 million raised in faculty support including the establishment of 24 new faculty professorships

  • $100 million raised for the permanent university endowment, strengthening the long-term future of the university

  • $68 million raised for improvements to our infrastructure, including facilities

The campaign, which began in 2010, entered its public phase on April 29, 2013 with $183 million raised. In 2015, the university announced that the $300 million mark had been surpassed more than a year ahead of schedule. The campaign officially closed June 30, 2016. Campaign leadership included Co-chairs Douglas Berthiaume, David Fubini and Robert Epstein and UMass Amherst Foundation Board President Richard Kelleher.

“The UMass Rising Campaign has fortified the university’s fundamental commitment to providing access to an excellent education in the commonwealth,” said Michael Leto, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations and executive director of the UMass Amherst Foundation. “There is much more we can and will do to fuel the work of the flagship campus as a leader in public higher education. For the benefit of our students and everyone we serve, we look forward to keeping the momentum going in the years ahead.”

The UMass Rising Campaign attracted close to 44,000 new donors to the university including many parents of UMass Amherst students. The campaign was particularly successful in raising funds for academic and research programs. The university raised $164 million for academic and research programs, which is $67 million more than the goal. In addition, more than 24 new permanent professorships were established to recruit and retain faculty leaders at the flagship campus. Gifts from current and past faculty and staff totaled $10.7 million.

UMass Rising was a comprehensive campaign benefiting students, faculty, academic and research programs across campus, as well as university facilities and infrastructure. Among the highlights of the campaign was Douglas and Diana Berthiaume’s outright gift of $10 million in 2014 to create the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. Located in the Isenberg School of Management, the Berthiaume Center serves as a campus-wide incubator for collaboration leading to economic development.

The $5 million bequest from Pamela and Robert Jacobs in 2015 was the largest gift ever for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The gift will create the Pamela M. and Robert D. Jacobs Chair in Judaic and Near Eastern Studies and support programming for the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, as well as for UMass Hillel.

Other programs that received far-reaching campaign gifts included the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program in the College of Natural Sciences; data sciences and cybersecurity in the College of Information and Computer Sciences; the Honors-to-Honors scholarship program supporting top community college students attending the Commonwealth Honors College; and a new home for the department of economics in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences—Crotty Hall, funded with a $10 million anonymous gift to the department of economics.