Elisia Saab is committed to seeding the lives and institutions that serve as her foundation – the core of that heritage is the Portuguese community in Lowell. She and her husband Mark have responded in several ways: for Lowell’s Portuguese-American senior center, a gift that pays the cost of lunches and activities three days a week; for the community’s youth, a scholarship fund at Lowell High School, to benefit Portuguese-American students; at UMass Lowell, a 2005 scholarship fund aimed expressly at students of Portuguese heritage residing in the Merrimack Valley; and their recent support in establishing the Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture.
The Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture will connect UMass Lowell with the Portuguese culture both in Lowell and abroad. The center will work closely with UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Portuguese Studies to sponsor events, offer study abroad programs and coordinate faculty collaborations with Portuguese universities in Lisbon and Braga.
For the Greater Lowell community, the Saabs have made generous gifts to support the GED program at Middlesex Community College, another to bus UMass Lowell student-tutors to area schools, and a third, donation to support community-service organizations during the holiday season.
The University named its new $80 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center in tribute to the Saabs. The couple recently made a multimillion-dollar commitment that makes them the largest individual donors to the University.
Additionally, the couple chaired the 2011 Commencement Eve Celebration.
The Saabs co-founded Advanced Polymers Inc., which produces innovative products, including ultra-thin tubing, catheters and angioplasty balloons.
They reside in Lowell with their two daughters.