UMass Dartmouth receives $1 million gift to support community engagement

Oct 8, 2021

UMass Dartmouth just got a big gift to help ensure that its faculty and students keep on giving.

The university on Thursday received a $1 million gift from 1978 graduate Robert Leduc, and his wife Jeanne, to expand community service programming at the school’s Leduc Center for Civic Engagement.

According to Chancellor Mark Fuller, programming from the center during the 2020-21 school generated more than 189,000 hours of service valued at $6.64M.

“The Leduc Center is a crucial resource for our students, our faculty, and our region,” Fuller said. “This amazing new gift will further strengthen its programs and allow us to expand.”

Fuller said the Leducs’ latest gift will fund three programs that will further connect the university with communities on the South Coast.

One program will place students in community service-based internships at area social service organizations who “otherwise couldn’t afford to hire the additional staff.”

UMass Dartmouth faculty will receive seed funding to address “local and regional issues through collaborative research with community partners.”

Money will also go toward bolstering Arnie’s Cupboard, the on-campus food pantry serving students struggling with food insecurity.

“This is particularly fitting since Arnie’s Cupboard was started by a student as a service learning project,” Fuller said. 

Robert Leduc has spent nearly 40 years working as a senior executive at United Technologies Corp. and recently served as president of Connecticut-based aerospace company Pratt & Whitney.

He and his wife Jeanne currently reside in Connecticut.

This latest donation follows $1M given by Robert and Jeanne Leduc in 2012 to name the Robert and Jeanne Leduc Center for Civic Engagement.

"It has been 10 years since our initial gift to UMass Dartmouth and the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement — in that time frame, the Leduc Center has surpassed all our expectations,” Robert Leduc said. “It just shows you when amazing people come together, amazing things happen.”