UMass Boston announces anonymous $1 million gift

The University of Massachusetts Boston has announced a $1 million anonymous gift that will benefit the college’s graduate programs in biology.

The money will launch the Biology Graduate Research Endowment on the Dorchester campus, the university said, providing stipends, travel funds, and project funding to graduate students. The biology department currently has more than 80 graduate students.


“Particularly for Ph.D. students in biology, one needs to produce original research,” department Chairman Rick Kesseli said. “To write and produce original research is difficult when you’re also trying to make ends meet and pay for rent and food and that kind of thing.” Kesseli said he hopes summer stipends could give graduate students more time to focus on research while in their advanced years of study at UMass.

The grant does not directly affect the department’s undergraduates, Kesseli said, but could indirectly provide them with more opportunities.

“By supporting these graduate students in their research, they feel more confident taking undergraduates in the lab” as assistants, Kesseli said.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at
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