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UMass college gets $10M anonymous donation

AMHERST — An anonymous donor has given an estimated $10.3 million to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to benefit the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy calls it a “transformative gift” that is among the largest in the history of the university, according to a statement.

“The growth in research that will result from this gift will benefit society not only through enhanced educational opportunities, but also through its impact on social policy,” Subbaswamy stated.

In addition to the gift, an external endowment has also been established.

Deputy Chancellor and former dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Robert S. Feldman was involved in securing the gift.

“UMass social scientists already have had a significant impact on our understanding of fundamental social and economic issues ranging from social mobility to environmental impact; this unprecedented gift will ensure the continuation of this legacy,” Feldman stated.

UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said Tuesday he had no further information on the donation.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is home to the undergraduate majors in anthropology, communication, economics, environmental design, journalism, landscape architecture, legal studies, political science, resource economics, social thought and political economy, and sociology, as well as a variety of doctoral, master’s and graduate certificate programs. It currently has 3,500 undergraduate students and 550 graduate students, according to the college’s website.

The gift brings the UMass Rising Campaign, the campaign for donations to UMass Amherst, past 85 percent of its $300 million goal, according to Michael A. Leto, vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs.

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