$1 million gift to support student scholarships

Harold and Virginia Lash Scholarships will support students in nursing, bioengineering, computer science, management information systems, and English

UMass Dartmouth announced today that the Harold G. Lash Revocable Trust has donated $1 million to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Foundation to support the Harold and Virginia Lash Scholarships.

“This generous gift will provide deserving students with a remarkable opportunity to earn a higher education in their chosen field, and then use that education to make their own contribution to the community and society,’’ Vice Chancellor for Advancement Joseph Medina said. “I want to thank the Lash family for its long-standing commitment to UMass Dartmouth and to the idea that education is empowering.”

Half of the gift - $500,000 - will be used to provide full-time, undergraduate students in nursing, bioengineering, computer science, management information systems, and English (Writing, Rhetoric & Communications) with $100,000 each over 4 years, beginning in the fall of 2016.

Preference is for students who are residents of Bristol County, have a documented financial need, and have demonstrated a strong academic record in high school. It is the donor’s preference that these scholarships provide for as-nearly-as-possible all of the recipient’s tuition, fees and living expenses for the academic year. 

The remaining $500,000 will be placed in an endowed fund first established in 1993 by the late Harold and Virginia Lash with a donation of $50,000. That fund, which had grown to more than $200,000 prior to this latest gift, has already supported the UMass Dartmouth education of 80 students over the last 23 years.

One of the 80 scholarship recipients, nursing alumna Katie Pelland (Class of 2015), travelled to Haiti twice and Mississippi once to assist at medical clinics and community health programs during spring break. She is now working as an RN at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River and planning to pursue a graduate degree in public health.

“The Lash scholarship provided me an opportunity to complete a full four years of college education and receive my bachelor’s degree in nursing debt free,” Pelland said. “Without the scholarship I would have never been so successful in school. The scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies and helped me go on three nursing service trips. It also instilled a drive in me to succeed and improve the health of others.”

CONTACT: John Hoey, 508.264.5920 or jhoey@umassd.edu

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