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LOWELL - The University of Massachusetts Lowell will receive $1 million - one of the largest single gifts in its history - because of the generosity of an alumnus who died more than 40 years ago.
The University has been notified by the lawyers of Cheney Cook, a 1905 graduate of the Lowell Textile School, a predecessor institution, that it will receive $670,000 from his estate. With a matching gift from the state's endowment incentive program, Cook's legacy to UMass Lowell will total $1 million, a portion of which will be designated for student scholarships.
"A donation of this magnitude provides an incredible boost to the long-term financial resources of a public university," said Chancellor William T. Hogan. "The additional income created by Cheney Cook's generosity will benefit the University, its programs and its students for generations."
Matthew Eynon, executive director of university advancement, hopes the gift will set an example for others to follow.
"We hope other alumni and friends will see what an impact such a planned gift can make, especially given the state matching program," Eynon said. "This is a significant gift that provides great momentum to our fundraising efforts."
The Public Higher Education Endowment Incentive Program matches 50 percent of any gift designated for the endowment at any UMass campus.
Cook, who received his diploma in wool manufacturing from Lowell Textile School, was president of Winslow Brothers and Smith Co., a Norwood tannery, from 1929 to 1948. He also was a vice president of Second Bank-State Street Trust of Boston. At the time of his death in 1961, the will of Cook, who was childless, stipulated that part of his estate would transfer to Lowell Textile upon the death of his last heir.
This donation will not be the first time UMass Lowell students have benefited from Cook's generosity. For years, the Cheney Cook Scholarship program has awarded an annual scholarship to an undergraduate or graduate student with demonstrated financial need.
UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental, and social health of the region. Lowell offers its 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education.