Donations to nursing program and athletics department open opportunities for students

One of the Inorganic Chemistry labs used by nursing students stationed on the third floor in University Hall.

UMass Boston has benefitted from the acts of kindness from Donna Manning, Robert Manning and Boston State College Alumnus Dan Rea. With their generous donations, the school’s nursing program will continue to thrive and grow, and athletes will be able to push themselves like they never have before. 

The Mannings donated a total of $50 million towards the UMass system; this is the biggest donation the school has ever received. 

$15 million of the donated money is going towards improving the already successful UMass Boston nursing program.  It will focus on the diversity of students in the program, as well as provide student nurses the best resources possible to thrive in their areas of nursing. 

Donna Manning was inspired to donate to UMass Boston's nursing program by her work as a nurse at Boston Medical Center. 

Manning sees a lot of positives in the university’s nursing program and highlights the diversity of the program as one of them.

UMass Boston’s nursing program is unique, as it is the only four-year public school to have a nursing program and an exercise and health sciences program in the Greater Boston area. 

The current program contains roughly 2,100 students, with 19 percent being Black, 12 percent Latinx and 11 percent Asian American Pacific Islander. 

Part of the gift will also include the introduction of the name: The Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston.

UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco expressed: “This transformational gift from Rob and Donna comes at the right time and the right place and for a beautiful cause: to foster a culture of healing and health equity in Boston and beyond. It will enable UMass Boston to take the education of the next generation of nurses nobly serving as caregivers to the next level of excellence and engagement.” 

The chancellor also commented: “Amidst a pandemic, rampant medical disinformation, nursing shortages and the heroism of healthcare workers, we at UMass Boston are more committed than ever to cultivating extraordinary nursing talent. The Mannings’ historic gift will be put to use to nurture the next generation of health and wellness scientific expertise, but also the humane heart, the empathy and cultural awareness that define caregiving in its truest sense.”

In addition to the donation from the Mannings, UMass Boston also received a donation for a highly renovated strength and conditioning weight room. 

Dan Rea is a former student of Boston State College, which UMass Boston merged with in the 1980s. 

Dan Rea has been heavily involved with sports not only at UMass Boston, but all around New England. 

Rea played hockey and baseball for the Boston State College Warriors until he graduated in 1970. He is in the school's sports Hall of Fame. Rea is well known for his tenure as a television reporter from 1976 to 2007, where he received two regional Emmys. 

The new weight room will introduce a variety of new workout equipment, upgraded flooring, a large ceiling fan that will improve circulation, and a fresh paint job. Any remaining funds will be used to maintain the facility to a peak standard.

When asked about the importance of athletics on the Behind the Beacons podcast, Rea stated: “Athletics improve our world because whatever our differences, fair competition fosters mutual respect both on and off the fields of play.” 

UMass Boston looks to continue the success it has in its athletic departments with the addition of this weight room.

“We are deeply grateful to Dan for his vision and generosity of heart. This gift is a tremendous investment that will have an immediate impact on the development of our student-athletes now and into the future,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. 

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