UMass Boston News

Sanofi Gives UMass Boston $1 Million in Support of Student Success Program for STEM Education

Office of Communications | September 19, 2013
Jim Burns, Sanofi; Elias Zerhouni, Sanofi; Chancellor Motley; Chris Viehbacher, CEO, Sanofi; David Meeker, President and CEO, Genzyme

Shannon Power Photography

Jim Burns, Sanofi; Elias Zerhouni, Sanofi; Chancellor Motley; Chris Viehbacher, CEO, Sanofi; David Meeker, CEO, Genzyme




This partnership means that together, we can make a major contribution to sustaining and enhancing the local R&D ecosystem.



College of Science and Mathematics to Receive Major Gift

Sanofi and its Cambridge-based biotechnology company, Genzyme, today announced a new partnership and $1 million gift to support student success programs in the University of Massachusetts Boston’s College of Science and Mathematics (CSM). The announcement of the gift was made at the opening of Sanofi’s new R&D facility at 640 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, which will be focused on cancer research.

“We thank and recognize Sanofi and Genzyme for sharing our vision for student success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and for their partnership with UMass Boston students and the future of Greater Boston,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “Supporting the Commonwealth's goal of continued leadership in scientific and technological innovation, CSM is providing its students with an outstanding academic experience that enhances their prospects for careers in STEM fields. This investment in UMass Boston students by Genzyme and Sanofi, which extends an existing partnership, represents an outstanding example of how collaboration between a public higher education institution and a major corporation can have a significant impact on developing a vibrant STEM workforce.”

Genzyme and Sanofi target their philanthropic giving toward areas of need in communities, with particular focus on science and education, including organizations that foster the next generation of diverse STEM leaders. The College of Science and Mathematics has developed a highly successful program for advancing student success in STEM majors. This program revamped advising, academic support, and orientation, and developed a learning community program as the centerpiece of this strategy. Retention in the program is more than 15 points above the college’s preexisting levels, with large increases of students remaining in STEM majors.

“This partnership means that together, we can make a major contribution to sustaining and enhancing the local R&D ecosystem and supporting our collective future by ensuring a steady supply of young people with advanced training and education,” said Christopher Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “By supporting a vibrant life sciences community, we are also laying the foundation for the research that will drive future innovations for patients.”

“Increased access to STEM education is essential to Massachusetts’ future economic competitiveness, including our strength as a global leader in the life sciences,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “I thank Sanofi and Genzyme for the generous contribution to our UMass Boston students and efforts to ensure that our state’s STEM workforce pipeline remains strong.”

The gift from Sanofi and Genzyme marks the third significant philanthropic gift this year supporting CSM student success programs. Earlier this year, San Francisco-based software giant Oracle gave $300,000 to support student success efforts in CSM, and Ralph and Janice James pledged $1 million to support student success efforts campus-wide.

With Sanofi and Genzyme’s support, CSM Dean Andrew Grosovsky plans to expand the student success program and develop new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research.

“We couldn’t be more excited and grateful for this partnership with Sanofi and Genzyme,” said Dean Grosovsky. “CSM has experienced dramatic increases in enrollment and is a minority-majority college with large numbers of first-generation and low-income students. Since the retention and academic performance has been so strong, we are on track to greatly increase the number and diversity of STEM graduates. These graduates will be competitive for admission to graduate or professional schools, or to enter the STEM workforce.”

About UMass Boston
Recognized for its reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s ten colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.

Comments (1)

Posted by Monica Calzolari | September 25, 2013 - 4:39 p.m.

Congratulations Paula Popeo and Advancement. Nice job.


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