Umass To Rename Nursing School After Getting $21.5M Gift

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $21.5 million gift from the foundation named for an alumna who was also the author of several influential nursing textbooks, school officials announced Thursday.

In honor of the gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation — the single largest cash gift dedicated exclusively to the Amherst campus — the university will rename its nursing school the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing.

“This gift is an endorsement of the vital role that our College of Nursing plays in preparing nurses for leadership in health care," Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement. “It comes at a time when our society is confronted with unprecedented challenges — challenges that we strive to overcome through innovation, learning and discovery inspired by one of our most distinguished and beloved graduates, Dr. Marieb herself.”

Marieb, a Northampton native who died in 2018 at age 82, earned master's and doctorate degrees from UMass Amherst. She also taught at Springfield College and Holyoke Community College.

In response to complaints from her nursing students that the materials then available were ineffective, she authored or co-authored more than 10 bestselling textbooks and laboratory manuals on anatomy and physiology.

Her work has been read by more than 3 million nurses and health care professionals practicing today, according to the university.

The gift will be used to enhance the university’s innovative nursing engineering center while providing support for student scholarships, an endowed professorship, and mentorship and research initiatives.

UMass Amherst has about 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students.