Transforming Endicott’s Future
Two groundbreaking philanthropic gifts invigorate the College’s commitment to community.
Philanthropy isn’t just a donation or a name on a plaque—philanthropy changes lives. For a place like Endicott, it can be powerfully transformational. And, in the last few months, the College has received not only one but two record-setting gifts.
In a September 2021 ceremony during Convocation, Endicott unveiled Hempstead Commons, the new name for our latest academic building that represents the largest single donor commitment in the College’s history—$6 million from Class of 1969 alumna and Chair of the Board of Trustees Melissa Hempstead.
Barely a month later, Endicott shared a second groundbreaking commitment—a $20 million partnership with Cummings Foundation to expand the School of Nursing, which will be renamed the Cummings School of Nursing & Health Sciences.
Prominent in the dedications of and priorities driving both of these gifts is the inspiring theme of engaged community. President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., opened the Hempstead dedication with what would become a strong message of togetherness and mutual strength.
“We all belong to a much larger community, the world beyond our shoreline,” he told the crowd. “How we, as a community, engage with that larger world is both an important responsibility and an exciting opportunity. The chance to broaden perspectives and enhance the conversation.”
“How we, as a community, engage with the larger world is both an important responsibility and an exciting opportunity.” —President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D.
Provost Beth Schwartz, Ph.D., continued the sentiment in opening remarks for the Cummings partnership announcement. “As Gulls, we understand that we do our best work when we put our heads together, and when we work with community in mind,” she said. “I’m excited for the possibilities—not only for our students, and not only for Endicott, but the broader community that we serve.”
“I’m excited for the possibilities—not only for our students, and not only for Endicott, but the broader community that we serve." —Provost Beth Schwartz, Ph.D.
At Endicott, that community includes some pretty amazing people.
After Melissa Hempstead’s graduation from Endicott in 1969 with an associate degree in liberal studies, she has never wavered in her connection to the College, joining the Alumni Council in 2006 and the Board of Trustees in 2008, and then taking the helm as Chair of the Board in October of 2020.
At the Hempstead Commons unveiling, she shared: “Over the years, I have moved from student to alumna, from Trustee to now Chair of the Board of Trustees, all while watching and delighting in the staggering and transformational growth of Endicott College.” She added that her time at Endicott has “so deeply impacted the trajectory of my life, that it remains a joy to give back to both my alma mater and to this incredible community. I see the unique impact on individual students.”
“Over the years, I have moved from student to alumna, from Trustee to now Chair of the Board of Trustees, all while watching and delighting in the staggering and transformational growth of Endicott College.” —Melissa Hempstead ’69, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Hempstead has always been an active volunteer, working to engage other Endicott alumni to support the College, visit campus, or attend special events. As a lover of sports—especially football—her name is fitting on the stadium; that dedication took place in 2015, one marker in a long legacy of philanthropy and stewardship.
The new Hempstead Commons provides academic, collaborative, and social space at the heart of campus, housing the state-of-the-art Linda Cleary Lecture Hall, meeting spaces, and a café.
“I hope that Hempstead Commons’ legacy embodies one that encourages even more students and philanthropists to embrace the strength of the Endicott community,” said Hempstead, “and I look forward to watching the seed of this gift grow for many years to come.”
“Melissa has proven time and again that she is both an advocate and an outstanding, committed member of the Endicott community,” said President DiSalvo. “Consistently supporting our efforts, she works to help fulfill an ambitious and inspiring vision of what Endicott College can be, and helps to bring that vision to fruition.”
With the new academic quad becoming the true hub of campus, Hempstead’s vision and impact will be a part of Endicott for many, many years to come.
Cummings School of Nursing & Health Sciences
The relationship between Cummings Foundation and Endicott College has been a long, fruitful one. It began over 25 years ago when then Endicott President Dr. Richard E. Wylie met Bill Cummings, kicking off a friendship that would foster inspiration for community betterment and entrepreneurship.
The first Cummings Foundation gifts to Endicott were awarded as part of their $100k for 100 Program, which supports nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. In 2012, the Foundation supported our Life Sciences facility campaign, building what would become the Ginger Judge Science Center and the Colin & Erika Angle Center for Entrepreneurship. Cummings Foundation later donated a gift in celebration of Dr. DiSalvo’s 2019 inauguration, and in 2020 the College announced a ten-year Sustaining Grant of $300k as part of the Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. Once again, the Angle Center for Entrepreneurship was the recipient, chosen from a total of 738 applicants to receive support that enables the Center to drive expansion of entrepreneurial education for nonprofits and for-profit ventures in the North Shore community.
“Bill and Joyce have been staunch and influential supporters of Endicott College,” said DiSalvo. “From sponsoring internships and hiring our students post-graduation, to their continued generosity across the College, we are immensely grateful for everything they have done.”
A hallmark of Cummings Foundation's public leadership and philanthropy is an eye for the future. Support of the nursing and health sciences programs provides an immediate effect in funding for the new building, and also longer-term support in the form of teaching the health professionals of tomorrow. This newest partnership will support the construction of a state-of-the-art educational space for instructing future nurses, and represents an investment in American healthcare, which has seen a nursing shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition to current nursing programs, the school just added a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree for nurses who will practice at the most advanced level of nursing, and has plans for a Physician's Assistant program—the first on the North Shore of Boston. The building will also house the School of Sport Science, providing students with a world class performance lab and traditional classrooms.
“With the highest appreciation for the College’s innovative learning programs, Cummings Foundation is so delighted to partner with Endicott to help fulfill the vital need for nursing and health sciences professionals,” said Bill Cummings, founder of Cummings Foundation and Cummings Properties.
During the groundbreaking ceremony in October, Joyce Cummings thanked Endicott for enriching the city of Beverly and beyond. “During these most unusual times, your capacity for creating communities—and being positive, active forces within them—is needed more than ever,” she shared. “For that reason, Cummings Foundation is so delighted to invest in this exceptional institution and in its students. We feel reassured and optimistic knowing that you are the community builders and leaders of tomorrow.”
“During these most unusual times, your capacity for creating communities - and being positive, active forces within them- is needed more than ever.” —Joyce Cummings, Cummings Foundation
As part of the partnership, Cummings Foundation has gifted the College with one of their innovative contemporary public art pieces, an orange ‘iron butterfly’ sculpture that will live outside of the Wylie Inn and Conference Center. The striking artwork is symbolic of the rebirth and transformation of the monarch butterfly and representative of the emergence from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more about giving opportunities at Endicott, please visit endicott.edu/give.