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‘Pathways of Promise’ campaign exceeds $250 million goal to support UMass Medical School

Most successful comprehensive fundraising campaign in school history enables future research, teaching and learning, community and global health

UMass Medical School Communications

September 16, 2019
UMass Medical School surpassed its $250 million goal, raising $279 million in philanthropic gifts and pledges from individuals, corporations and foundations.

In concluding the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the history of UMass Medical School, Chancellor Michael F. Collins has announced that the Medical School surpassed its $250 million goal, raising $279 million in philanthropic gifts and pledges from individuals, corporations and foundations. Highlights of the Pathways of Promise campaign include the largest alumni donation in school history; funding to accelerate research in a variety of neurodegenerative conditions; the establishment of a rare diseases research institute; 19 new endowed chairs for faculty; $4.7 million for student scholarships and financial aid; the most significant contributions in school history for community service initiatives and global health; and a donation to establish a Duchenne muscular dystrophy program.

“On behalf of the UMass Medical School community, I extend my deepest gratitude to our most generous and loyal benefactors who have made possible the resounding success of this historic campaign,” said Chancellor Collins, who also serves as senior vice president for the health sciences for the University of Massachusetts. “Each and every day at the Medical School we are privileged to witness and support students, staff and faculty who are on the path to reaching their fullest potential toward noble goals that unquestionably improve the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world. Our donors, through their generosity, have opened up countless new pathways.”

Pathways of Promise prioritized support for three critical areas of the Medical School’s mission: research, teaching and learning, and community and global health. The quiet phase of the campaign began in July 2012, and it was publicly launched in September 2016.

“The success of the Pathways of Promise campaign represents a singular moment for our world-class Medical School,” said Marty Meehan, president of the University of Massachusetts. “Through the transformative power of education and scientific discovery made possible by these investments, people across the commonwealth, the country and the globe will benefit.”

Accomplishments made possible by the Pathways of Promise campaign include:

  • A $6 million donation to establish the Duchenne muscular dystrophy program at UMass Medical School. This clinic, supported philanthropically by Charley’s Fund and led by Brenda Wong, MD, brings together highly-specialized, integrated and interdisciplinary care, as well as cutting-edge clinical trials, in a single location.
  • The largest-ever community health and service donation, by the Remillard Family Foundation, endows a $3 million fund to invest in community outreach programs led by UMass Medical School faculty, staff and students.
  • A $2 million gift by Dan Riccio and his wife Diane M. (Casey) Riccio, PhD, GSBS ’03 marks the largest alumni donation in Medical School history and will support the UMass ALS Cellucci Fund and the establishment of the Riccio Fund for Neuroscience, to encourage investigation, collaboration and innovation in the neurosciences throughout the institution, as well as with partners outside the Medical School. This fund is designed to broaden our understanding of the brain in ways that might open new pathways to treat a range of neurodegenerative disorders.
  • The establishment of 19 new endowed chairs, allowing some of the Medical School’s most renowned faculty members to pursue innovative and trailblazing research. UMMS now has endowments for 50 named chairs and professorships.
  • $4.7 million for student financial aid and scholarships intended to relieve the debt load of our nation’s best and brightest.
  • The new Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research supports the collaborations and investigations of more than 40 faculty members committed to discovering life-changing treatments and cures for some of the more than 7,000 so-called “orphan” diseases.
  • Looking to the future, donors established 101 new endowed funds totaling more than $40 million.

To learn more video about Pathways of Promise campaign, visit: