Tufts and Lesley Universities are sharing a $272-million gift from trusts established by the late Frank C. Doble, a businessman and Tufts alumnus, the universities plan to announce today. Each institution’s $136-million share of two dissolved trusts will be the largest gift in its history.
While each university will make its own decisions in using its portion of the gift, the situation has “brought our two institutions together,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts.
Tufts will use the gift to build a new laboratory for collaborative research in engineering and biology, a project the university was already contemplating. “This gift allows us to move forward with our plans more rapidly,” Mr. Bacow said. Some of the remaining money will go toward student aid, he said.
The gift triples the size of Lesley’s endowment, bringing it to the $200-million mark. The university plans to put the full amount in its endowment and is still determining how much of the money to spend on academic programs, student aid, facilities, and endowment growth, said Joseph B. Moore, the university’s president.
Mr. Doble graduated from Tufts in 1911. His Doble Engineering Company, which tested the safety and reliability of power systems, was based on Tufts’s campus. He was also a trustee at Lesley. He named the universities as the primary beneficiaries of two trusts that together owned 87 percent of his company.
Mr. Doble did not stipulate how the gifts should be used, although he was particularly interested in the arts, and science and engineering programs. Tufts tried to honor those interests in its use of the money, Mr. Bacow said.
Both universities had previously benefited from Mr. Doble’s generosity, receiving $34-million each in dividends from the trusts since Mr. Doble died, in 1969. When Doble Engineering Company was sold last November, the trusts were dissolved and the assets distributed.
“His foresight and ingenuity as an engineer and success as an entrepreneur and businessman will today have a transformative impact, 98 years after his graduation,” Mr. Bacow said.
Beckie Supiano is an intern at The Chronicle of Higher Education.