University News

$1M Gift from Prominent Alum, Longtime Supporter Establishes Subbaswamy Innovation Fund

The investment supports Chancellor Subbaswamy’s outgoing initiatives

AMHERST, Mass. — In honor of Kumble R. Subbaswamy’s tenure as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a new fund, named the Subbaswamy Innovation Fund has been established, thanks to a gift of $1 million from Richard “Dick” J. ’55, ’83H and Barbara M. ’55 Mahoney. The fund will be used to support Subbaswamy's highest-priority initiatives over the next year.

NEWS Richard Mahoney
Richard Mahoney

“Chancellor Subbaswamy has been a steadfast proponent of my family’s and my philanthropic goals,” says Mahoney. “From the iCons program to the Integrated Sciences Building, Subbaswamy has always given us his full support. I am grateful to be in a position to repay his loyalty and give him the opportunity to make a difference in the ways he is most passionate about. I hope my gift encourages others to do the same.”  

Mahoney’s gift will be used at the discretion of the chancellor to support initiatives deemed most important during his last year at the university, including expanding flexible learning programs and the Carbon Zero mission—to have the UMass Amherst campus powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Subbaswamy will retire at the end of June 2023.

“The chancellor has been dedicated to multiple initiatives during his time here,” says Arwen Duffy, vice chancellor for advancement. “It speaks volumes that Richard Mahoney has not only been a longtime supporter but has also chosen to invest in Chancellor Subbaswamy’s vision throughout the rest of his tenure.”

In the past decade, as the university pursued its ambitious goals, the chancellor and Mahoney formed a close friendship.  Subbaswamy notes, “Leading a university of this size and complexity through a time of substantial change is challenging, and I am tremendously grateful for Dick’s counsel. Having served as CEO of Monsanto during a period of significant growth, Dick’s insights and expertise have been instrumental in our success. Over the years, we have also shared a commitment to fostering scientific entrepreneurialism, and I am truly humbled by his generosity and continued support for our shared priorities.”

As one of three brothers to receive their degrees in chemistry from UMass Amherst, Dick Mahoney became a leader in his own right. He is the retired chief executive officer and chairman of Monsanto and a consistent contributor to UMass Amherst, helping to develop and fund the notable Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) program and giving to support the new Integrated Sciences Building on campus. In 2021, he was the recipient of the UMass Alumni Honors Lifetime Achievement Award—acknowledging the incredible legacy of giving and involvement he and Barbara have left.