The late Dr. Paul Farmer is shown above with Joyce and Bill Cummings in Woburn, in January 2022. Dr. Farmers' legendary work is well known throughout the world.
Through its ongoing commitment to education, Cummings Foundation has formed special relationships with the academic institutions and programs below. One hallmark of these partnerships is a gift of multi-year funding to support the provision of high-quality career readiness and development programming. The Foundation has been delighted to donate more than $10 million to each of these institutions.
The programs have no formal relationship with one another, although they have Cummings Foundation in common as a major benefactor. We hope that this financial vote of confidence will encourage other donors to provide greater support to these top-notch institutions.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
In 2005, Cummings Foundation finalized a long-term collaboration with Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, providing support and financial resources to sustain the graduate school’s global reputation for excellence. The partnership included a $50 million commitment from the Foundation, pledged at the start of the relationship in 2002. To date, Cummings Foundation has contributed more than $80 million in financial assistance to the prestigious school.
Off campus, Cummings School operates Tufts Ambulatory Farm Service in Woodstock, CT, which helps sustain New England family farming. The school's International Program collaborates with other Tufts University programs and local organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to encourage sustainable animal agriculture, wildlife conservation, and public health.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is recognized internationally for faculty contributions to the study of zoonotic infectious diseases—illnesses that can spread between animals and people. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) chose Tufts to lead its $100 million Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover) program. Directed by Dr. Deborah T. Kochevar, a Tufts faculty member, former Cummings School dean, and former acting provost of the University, STOP Spillover’s mission was to reduce the risk of zoonotic viral diseases that can “spill over” from animals to humans. Kochevar is also a former trustee of Cummings Foundation.
In Africa, Cummings School had a significant role in the founding of University of Global Health Equity, the international university formed in 2015 by Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners In Health with major joint support from Cummings Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine annually enrolls more than 300 students in its four-year program leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree. The school has also developed innovative graduate programs, including the world's only M.S. degree in the field of animals and public policy, and the first D.V.M./M.P.H. program that places veterinary and medical students in the same classroom. Learn more about Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Cummings School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Endicott College are under the umbrella of Cummings Health Sciences, LLC, one of Cummings Foundation's operating affiliates. Other affiliates include New Horizons at Choate, LLC and New Horizons at Madonna Hall, LLC, two high-value not-for-profit assisted living communities, located in Woburn and Marlborough, MA, respectively. The Foundation's grant-making affiliate is One World Boston, Inc.
Cummings Institute of Global Health at University of Global Health Equity
Pictured (l to r): Partners In Health’s late founder, Dr. Paul Farmer; Bill Cummings; Dr. Didi Bertrand Farmer; and Joyce Cummings at the 2019 dedication of UGHE’s Butaro campus.
In 2014, Cummings Foundation committed $15 million to help create a brand-new international university for the health sciences: University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Rwanda. This founding contribution was matched by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Just five years later, Cummings Foundation pledged an additional $10 million as a matching challenge in honor of the dedication of the newly completed campus, in Butaro, Rwanda. These seminal gifts were subsequently recognized with the naming of Bill and Joyce Cummings Institute of Global Health. (Learn more about the origins of UGHE.)
Cummings Institute of Global Health house’s UGHE’s flagship Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD), an innovative program rooted in the principles of global health, One Health, global health policy, epidemiology, health finance, management, and leadership.
UGHE’s faculty includes local experts from Rwanda’s Ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Center, as well as visiting professors from Harvard Medical School, Yale University, and Tufts University, among others. Community health workers from rural villages near UGHE’s campus also have enormously valuable lessons to impart, helping students understand the realities of problem-solving in under-resourced settings. By emphasizing practical experience outside the classroom, the MGHD program exposes the students to the complexity of delivering care in all settings.
The MGHD program offers three tracks of study from which students can choose: One Health, Health Management, and Gender, Sexual, and Reproductive Health. All tracks prioritize hands-on and practical field experience, focus on “systems” rather than symptoms, and emphasize leadership and management.
Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
In 2021, Cummings Foundation embarked on a $12.5 million partnership with the newly renamed Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology. This substantial multi-year commitment will support the affordable urban nonprofit college in its mission to promote educational equity, workforce development, and inclusive economic growth in Boston and beyond.
A minority-serving institution and Boston’s only technical college, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology aims to forge technical career pathways for a diverse array of students often underrepresented in higher education. The majority of those enrolled are first-generation college students and self-identify as students of color. Additionally, 99 percent of its student population receives some form of financial aid.
Tokens of an education from this institution include a low student/faculty ratio as well as a high post-graduate job placement rate and lasting upward economic mobility. In fact, the median salary for first-year alumni is nearly double the average household income reported by students first enrolling in the College.
Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology students can earn bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and certificates across multiple technical disciplines. The College also offers career development courses and energy efficiency training. Its numerous courses of study are grouped in six academic divisions: automotive technology, construction management and the trades, general education, electrical engineering and engineering technology, opticianry, and professional and continuing studies.
Read more about accessible, high-quality educational programming designed to prepare students for a successful career in the region’s leading industries.
Clockwise, from back left: Cummings Foundation co-founder Bill Cummings, deputy director Laura Hiller, executive director Joyce Vyriotes, and trustees Eric Anderson, Dennis Clarke, Aisha Francis, Ph.D. (president of Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology), and the Honorable Margot Botsford
Cummings School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Endicott College
In 2021, the Foundation committed $20 million to Endicott College to expand and enhance Cummings School of Nursing and Health Sciences. This substantial commitment, thus far the largest in the Beverly college’s history, supports the creation of a modern homebase for students studying a variety of health-related disciplines.
The School will prepare future healthcare workers using the latest educational technologies, including a simulation lab for hands-on learning. Students may earn a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Science in Global Health Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, or Family Nurse Practitioner; or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
This enhanced learning environment will also house the School of Sport Science, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, Master of Science in Sport Leadership, Master of Science in Athletic Training, and a five-year Bachelor and Master of Science in Exercise Science and Pre-Professional Athletic Training. A program to train physician assistants is also being planned.
Learn more about the educational and career development opportunities available at Cummings School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Endicott College.
James McKeown School of Education at Salem State University
In 2022 also, a Cummings Foundation naming grant to Salem State University was reported to be the largest cash gift ever recorded to any of the nine Massachusetts state universities.
Given Salem State’s strong history of reaching out to students from a wide cross section of diverse communities, the recognition is particularly meaningful to honor the life and memory of James L. McKeown, who graduated from the School of Education in 1977.
With very few teaching positions available, he then also earned a master’s degree. Jamie in 1979 accepted a management position at Cummings Properties instead of pursuing a career teaching. He spent his entire working career at Cummings Properties, where he was appointed president at age 35, and a founding trustee of Cummings Foundation in 1986.
Jamie, who was a regular marathon runner, died tragically in 1996, at age 41, after completing an early-morning run. His wife, Denise McKeown, and their daughters, Kelly Bourque (a schoolteacher) and Molly Vardaro, and their families, all live locally in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Cummings School of Architecture at Roger Williams University
In 2022, the Foundation pledged $20 million to Roger Williams University to support and develop a progressive course of study at Cummings Institute for Real Estate, housed within the newly rededicated Cummings School of Architecture.
This affiliation represents not only the largest single donor contribution in the University’s history but also the first domestic Cummings School outside the Commonwealth. The Foundation was particularly gratified to forge this bond, given the relevance of the specific program—architecture and real estate—to the Cummings organization.
The Institute’s unique multidisciplinary curriculum integrates the legal, financial, and environmental considerations of real estate development with the aesthetic and practical principles of architecture, preservation, and urban and regional planning. Through hands-on learning and formal internship programs, students develop a wholistic understanding of sustainable and equitable design, preservation, and development in both natural and constructed environments.
Cummings School of Architecture offers an array of professional certificate and undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a nationally accredited Master of Architecture and the oldest historic preservation program in the United States. Learn more about its multidisciplinary real estate, architecture, and preservation education.
Paul Farmer Collaborative of Harvard Medical School and UGHE
In October 2022, Cummings Foundation agreed to provide new long-term support to University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) and Harvard Medical School to fund research and teaching fellowships, plus faculty and student exchanges, through a vital initiative called the Paul Farmer Collaborative of Harvard Medical School and University of Global Health Equity.
The sudden death of Dr. Farmer, chancellor of UGHE and co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH), from a cardiac event on February 21, 2022 greatly shocked and saddened countless people around the globe. Shortly thereafter, Cummings Foundation demonstrated its respect and admiration for Dr. Farmer by creating the Paul Farmer Collaborative. During his all too brief time with us, Dr. Farmer was the vital physical link between UGHE and Harvard University. The Collaborative will ensure that this bond and this aspect of Dr. Farmer’s legacy continue on a long-term basis.
UGHE was first conceived and envisioned by Bill Cummings and Dr. Peter Drobac of Partners In Health during Joyce and Bill Cummings’ second visit to Rwanda, in 2013. Initially proposed as “Pan-African Colleges of Health Sciences,” the concept was enthusiastically received by Dr. Farmer and his PIH co founder, Ophelia Dahl. PIH ultimately named the school University of Global Health Equity.
With strong support from Dr. Farmer, from Dr. Drobac, from Ms. Dahl, and from Rwanda’s then minister of health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the first phase of the new campus was quickly developed in rural Butaro. The campus is directly adjacent to Butaro District Hospital as well as the Republic’s first outpatient cancer center, which was also financed by Cummings Foundation in 2013.
To launch this groundbreaking university, Bill and Joyce pledged $15 million in 2014, which was matched by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The new $50 million grant for the Paul Farmer Collaborative immediately followed a new $50 million grant from Melinda Gates for long-term scholarship aid.
The Foundation was thrilled to learn in early October 2022 that Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the former president of Dartmouth College and The World Bank, had accepted the chancellorship of UGHE—he hopes “for many years to come,” as he told Bill Cummings just after his acceptance.