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BC Receives Largest Donation in its 158-Year History

Boston College received a gift of $75 million—the largest donation in the 158-year history of the University—from the estate of Joyce Robsham and Paul Robsham, LGSOE ’83, the University announced on Thursday. 

The gift will fund a variety of programs and projects, ranging from student scholarships to operations for Robsham Theater, according to the University release. 

“Paul and Joyce were true believers in the Boston College mission—they cared deeply for BC students and always kept their needs uppermost in their minds,” said Senior Vice President for University Advancement Jim Husson in the release. “Through their visionary gift, they will not only improve the student experience but also strengthen the University for years to come.”

The gift will fund several different types of University scholarships, including those for students who study performing arts and graduate fellowships for counseling and psychology. 

The funding will also go toward programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, according to the release. The new undergraduate training program will introduce practicum experience as a required part of the applied psychology and human development program.

With the help of the funding, the Lynch graduate school will be creating a 60-credit program for graduates hoping to serve as mental health counselors in an urban setting, the release reads.

“By supporting future mental health counselors, the Robshams’ gift will have a positive ripple effect on the patients graduate students will help during their years at BC and throughout their careers,” the release reads.

The Robshams have previously made several donations to the University, notably contributing to the creation of the Robsham Theater. The couple’s son, Paul Jr., attended BC before he died in a car accident in 1983, according to The Boston Globe.

Before Paul Sr. died in 2004, he said that he wanted BC to be a major beneficiary of his estate, according to the release. Before her death in 2018, Joyce worked with close advisers to ensure the funds went to areas of BC that meant most to the couple, like theatre and student life. Since Joyce’s death, friends and employees of the couple have been in charge of the estate, according to The Globe

“What you received as a gift, you should give as a gift,” University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., told The Globe. “When we think about performing arts and gathering spaces for students, or scholarship aid, all those have impacts that ripple out long after the initial gift is made.”

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Archives

September 2, 2021