Your generosity has created scholarship opportunities, enabled undergraduate research, supported lectures and special programming, and funded academic enrichment and experiences.  

At Commonwealth Honors College, we provide students who are passionate about learning with the foundation and stimulus they need to create new knowledge, increase their capacity as innovative and independent thinkers, and deepen their facility to develop solutions to pressing problems.  

We couldn’t do this without you! Your giving has made a profound difference for our Honors College students.  

No matter what your philanthropic vision or goals are, there’s a meaningful way to give to Commonwealth Honors College. Whether you want to give online, write a check, make a pledge, set up a recurring gift, make a gift of securities, or explore other options for giving through your estate or income producing vehicles, this is the place to learn more about how you can support the mission of Commonwealth Honors College and the lives of current and future Honors College students.  

Annual Giving 

Annual gifts like yours support individual students and the programs that distinguish honors education. Every annual gift we receive helps to make a difference by: 

  • Supporting an economically diverse student body 

Honors scholarships and awards offset financial need, reward academic excellence, and create opportunities. 

  • Supporting student research

Many of our students pursue research with faculty, and every Honors College student must write an Honors Thesis. Commonwealth Honors College funds underwrite Honors research projects. 

  • Inspiring students to think big

We connect students to faculty, visiting lecturers, and campus resources through innovative programs. 

Why I Give

Our donors come from many walks of life and have different reasons for supporting honors. Read the stories below to explore the various ways you can support our students. 

Annaliese Bischoff

Professor Emerita of Landscape Architecture Annaliese Bischoff has seen both sides of higher education.

Linda Lockwood

Linda Lockwood told the Daily Collegian, “The most important thing for me is to make sure that the Honors Program has a human face.”

Mark Deveau

Growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood, Mark Deveau ‘81 listened when his mother would say, “college is for rich people.”

Paige Cram

Paige Cram ’06 was raised in an environment that put high value on public education.



When you build an endowment, you make a difference in perpetuity. To create an endowment, you make a gift which is held as principal by the University of Massachusetts Foundation. A portion of the interest is spent each year for the purpose you have designated. Foundation policies are designed to increase the value of the endowment so that the actual spending power of your fund grows over time. 

You can create and name an endowment to benefit students or academic programs. Endowed funds range from $25,000 to several million dollars, which may be paid over 3-5 years. Endowments are most frequently funded through cash or securities, but can also be established through gifts of property, insurance, retirement assets, or bequest. 

Student endowment  

Endowed scholarships provide funds every year to be used for Honors College student scholarships. Scholarships may be designed to ensure that deserving students are financially able to attend the university, or they may be designed to encourage and reward outstanding academic performance. Scholarships are applied directly toward students' UMass Amherst bills. Check out the list of endowed scholarships established by generous donors. 

Academic program endowment  

Endowed funds enable Commonwealth Honors College to enrich our students’ academic experiences by creating new courses and programs and bringing distinguished speakers to campus. The Kathryn & Paul Williamson Lecture Fund, for example, brings extraordinary scholars to campus each year to interact with Honors College students and offer a public lecture. 

Faculty endowment 

Endowed faculty funds support the work of outstanding faculty on behalf of Honors College students. The rotating Terrence Murray Professorship, for example, provides funds for distinguished faculty to develop and pilot innovative Honors courses and experiences. 


How You Can Make a Gift 

Thank you for considering a gift in support of Honors education at UMass Amherst! Explore some options below, or contact Meredith Feltus to discuss how to support students in a way that is meaningful to you. 

  • Make an online gift by credit card. Search “Commonwealth Honors College” and select the fund that you wish to support. 

  • Write a check to UMass Amherst and note Commonwealth Honors College in the memo line. Send it to the address below. 

  • Make a gift of securities

  • Learn more about gift planning options, including wills, trusts, real estate, and income-producing gifts.