UMass Boston

Mayor Walsh Puts UMass Boston Chromebook Drive Over the Top

04/07/2020| Office of Communications

A donation of $8,500 from the City of Boston's GRAD Last Mile Fund has put UMass Boston’s Chromebook drive over the top of its goal of securing 200 laptops to loan students. The drive has now funded 223 Chromebooks for students without laptops to help them succeed in a remote learning environment.

Chromebook recipient Suzanne Alkhatatbih and her younger brother
Chromebook recipient Suzanne Alkhatatbih sent us a thank you video in which she said because her laptop is broken, this gift is invaluable for her and her whole family.

“ I'm proud the City of Boston can assist UMass Boston students in continuing their education during this challenging time for all. ”

"It is extremely heartening to know that we have crossed the finish line in our effort to provide students in need with the technology required to prosper in a remote learning environment,” noted Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “We are grateful beyond measure to Mayor Walsh, the Frieze Family Foundation, and the GRAD Last Mile Fund for providing this much needed support. In the midst of this pandemic, which required a rapid transition to distance learning, it is wonderful to know that we have such thoughtful supporters.”

“The past several weeks have posed unprecedented challenges for our university, community, and commonwealth, yet our students are undeterred as they continue to pursue their dream of a college degree,” UMass President Marty Meehan said. “I am very thankful to Mayor Walsh, the Frieze Family Foundation and the GRAD Last Mile Fund for this generous support, which will help more than 200 UMass Boston students finish this semester strong, advance on their path to graduation, and ultimately serve their community in countless ways.”

This donation was made possible by the efforts of Mayor Walsh, who secured the funding immediately upon learning about UMass Boston's students in need. The funding comes to the university via the GRAD Last Mile Fund, an innovative city scholarship program designed to provide financial support to students nearing college graduation. Funded in part by the Frieze Family Foundation, the fund provides resources to students for whom financial hardships are a barrier to completing a higher education degree program.

"I'm proud the City of Boston can assist UMass Boston students in continuing their education during this challenging time for all," said Mayor Walsh. "The GRAD List Mile Fund works to build opportunities for all, and this program will help Boston's students continue to learn and achieve."

The Chromebook drive was launched on March 19 as UMass Boston prepared to move to remote learning following Spring Break, on March 23. That changeover has now taken place.  A donation of $185 supported the purchase of a Chromebook for a student without a laptop to use during this period of remote learning. The Chromebooks are enabling the students to more fully participate in webinars, write comprehensive assignments, and access support services.

Additional donations to support UMass Boston students may be directed to UMass Boston’s Beacon Student Aid Fund, which provides emergency assistance to students with unanticipated financial burdens. Given the increasing obstacles bought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the fund has been exhausted. 

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 10 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit