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Merrimack College receives $2 million gift to fund Agenda for Distinction



March 16, 2012
“Susanna and I are delighted to be a part of Merrimack College’s strategic plan and we share its vision of providing a platform to its students so that their development will enable them to be leaders in their professions and the communities in which they reside in the future.” - Richard Gallant

North Andover, MA – Merrimack College announces it has received an unrestricted gift of two million dollars from local entrepreneur and President’s Advisory Board Member Richard Gallant and his wife Susanna to support the institution’s Agenda for Distinction.  The gift is one of the largest gifts in the history of Merrimack College.

Richard Gallant is the President of the Middlesex Islanders, LLC, (MXI) one of the premier development and competitive hockey programs in New England with more than 750 players competing in all 5 Premier New England Hockey Leagues – the Eastern Junior, Empire and ESHL Junior Hockey Leagues and the Eastern Hockey Federation (“EHF”) and the N.E. Women’s Hockey League.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Richard, and thank him and his wife for their extraordinary generosity,” said Merrimack College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “Richard’s endorsement of the College’s vision is a testament to our shared values,” said Hopey.

“Susanna and I are delighted to be a part of Merrimack College’s strategic plan and we share its vision of providing a platform to its students so that their development will enable them to be leaders in their professions and the communities in which they reside in the future,” said President Advisory Board Member Richard Gallant. “I think we all share in the vision that Merrimack College will remain a place which upholds the utmost traditions and values of education, leadership and community service,” said Gallant.

“Richard and Susanna’s gift is a fundamental investment in the momentum of the College.  Their generosity will benefit the College well into the future.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank them both for their commitment to Merrimack,” said Dr. Brian Mitchell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The Agenda for Distinction  is the College’s Strategic Plan that will enable it to confidently drive toward its vision of creating a highly ranked, internationally respected, selective masters comprehensive Catholic college, which is residential, student-centered, professionally focused and rigorous in the liberal arts, sciences, and business.

Among the projects planned for the first phase of the Agenda for Distinction are strategic academic investments in faculty, a new undergraduate liberal arts core curriculum, graduate education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); a new facility for the Sports Medicine Program, the Volpe Sports Complex Expansion for a potential move to NCAA Division 1, as well as the growth of the residential campus.

Gallant’s gift is an endorsement of Merrimack College’s future at a time of renewed optimism and momentum.  The unrestricted nature of the gift reflects Gallant’s confidence in the College’s bold agenda and his interest in partnering with the College.

Merrimack College and Middlesex Islanders Partnership:

The Middlesex Islanders (MXI) have a strong partnership with Merrimack College, including a long-term agreement for Merrimack to be the home ice for MXI.  The partnership has recently grown with the development of a second ice rink on the College’s campus – a groundbreaking to be announced in the spring. 

“Richard is a great partner with the College through our long term relationship with the Middlesex Islanders and his leadership commitment as a member of the President’s Advisory Board,” said President Hopey.

“The partnership reflects a new vision for Merrimack College as a leader in community outreach and engagement, and illustrates how colleges can build world-class facilities and create new programs and initiatives that benefit both the College and the community by connecting the right people at the right time,” President Hopey said.

“The partnership with Merrimack College is a key component of our continued commitment to the growth and the development of talented young student athletes. Together, Merrimack College and the Islanders will work to create the premiere youth hockey destination in New England,” said Gallant.

“This is a very exciting time for Merrimack Athletics and our partnership with MXI and Richard Gallant is the next step in continuing to build and improve our department. We speak a lot about the student-athlete experience as well as the experience our fans and customers have when coming to campus and our athletics facilities in particular. I know Richard shares our same values and goals and we all are looking forward to continuing to work together to achieve those goals,” said Athletic Director Glenn Hofmann.

About Merrimack College

The only Catholic Augustinian college in New England, Merrimack College is a selective, independent, co-educational institution with 2,000 full-time students from 22 states and 20 countries. Merrimack’s beautiful 220-acre campus is situated 20 minutes north of Boston in North Andover, Massachusetts. Featuring rigorous academics, small classes, and a close-knit residential community, Merrimack offers a wide range of business, education, engineering, liberal arts, science and engineering programs. Our reputation for inspiring excellence is exemplified through our 22,000 alumni—accomplished professionals who are committed to serving the greater good.

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For more information, contact Bethany LoMonaco at (860) 428-2693


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    Richard Gallant (left) and President Christopher E. Hopey. Richard Gallant and wife Susanna donate two million dollars in support of the College's Strategic Plan
    Copyright - Brian Crowley

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