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UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences Receives $93 Million

AMHERST — UMass Amherst announced that, as part of Robert and Donna Manning’s recent historic $50 million gift to the University of Massachusetts, $18 million will endow the newly named Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences.

At the same time, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a $75 million commitment that will enhance and expand the college’s facilities. The state grant, which will be allocated over the course of multiple future capital plans, is backed by a $30 million commitment from the campus for the expanded physical footprint of the college.

These combined investments will allow the college to continue to grow and fuel new discoveries in computing research. It will attract top faculty, increase access to its nationally ranked program, and offer scholarships, bridge programs, and peer mentoring to foster a diverse and ethical future workforce. Since 2018, the college has committed to doubling the amount of undergraduate and graduate students, and the gift and grant will help accelerate that goal.

The Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences ranks among the top 20 computer science programs in North America and boasts the 11th-ranked artificial intelligence (AI) program. United around a revolutionary vision for computing research and education, known as Computing for the Common Good, the college is driving scientific discovery in key areas such as healthcare, sustainability, cybersecurity, quantum information systems, and human-centered technology. Its research is focused on some of the most demanding challenges of today, including ensuring that AI is equitable, safe, and applied in positive ways, creating technologies that protect personal privacy and safeguard children from online predators.

“I have been very focused on the ethical application of new technologies, which both enhance and complicate our lives,” said Robert Manning, who is chairman of MFS Investment Management and the longtime chair of the UMass board of trustees. “The future of computing will cure diseases and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, but will also be incredibly disruptive, particularly to the workforce. The College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst, with its groundbreaking research and top-notch faculty, is well-positioned to be a leader in building a framework for Computing for the Common Good. Donna and I are proud to invest in this incredibly important initiative.”

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy added that “it’s an exciting time for UMass Amherst, and we’re incredibly grateful for this gift from the Manning family and funding commitment from the Commonwealth. We are committed to contributing to an inclusive and innovative society, and we know these gifts will help our institution harness technology’s power to drive this change.”

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