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Hampshire College Receives $2 Million Gift from Retired NASA Scientist Alumna

Hampshire College received $2 million from alumna and retired NASA scientist Dr. Lucy McFadden, its second seven-figure donation in the last week, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.

Dr. Lucy McFadden

Paula H. and James S. Crown – James was a member of one of Hampshire’s first graduating classes – gifted $5 million gift last week, the largest single donation to the school since its founding. The Crowns challenged members of Hampshire’s first five classes to add to the school’s $60 million by 2024 campaign.

As of Monday, its campaign – started in 2019 – sits at $22,583,810. The campaign was meant to “regain financial stability and full enrollment after the college, then under different leadership, underwent a financial crisis that threatened its existence as an independent college,” the Gazette reported.

McFadden – namesake of asteroid 3066 McFadden – was part of Hampshire’s first graduating class and is currently on its board of trustees.

The Crowns “pledged to match donations for up to $5 million from members of the college’s ‘founding’ classes, and McFadden will join them for a collective effort of matching donations for up to $7 million,” the Gazette reported.

“[McFadden] believes in what we’re doing and believes in the importance of experimentation and innovation,” Hampshire President Ed Wingenbach said, “but specifically, the vision that we developed together as a community last year to try to imagine the future of higher education and liberal arts education in a post-pandemic world.”

“I found my passion for scientific exploration at Hampshire, like so many students who’ve had scientific fields opened for them by the college’s distinctive and collaborative approach to STEM,” McFadden said. “After a long and fulfilling career exploring our solar system, I can’t think of anywhere more deserving of my support.”

Hampshire opened in 1970.