By CBSBoston.com Staff

AMHERST (CBS) — UMass Amherst announced Thursday that the foundation of a late bestselling textbook author from Northampton has given the school’s College of Nursing a record-setting donation. The Elaine Nicpon Marieb Foundation donated $21.5 million, the largest cash gift in school history.

Marieb, who died in 2018 at 82 years old, earned a master of science degree from the college in 1985. She was written more than 10 bestselling textbooks and laboratory manuals on anatomy and physiology, and is said to have been read by more than 3 million nurses and health care workers in the field today.

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“We are deeply grateful for this extraordinary gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy in a statement. “This gift is an endorsement of the vital role that our College of Nursing plays in preparing nurses for leadership in healthcare. It comes at a time when our society is confronted with unprecedented challenges — challenges that we strive to overcome through innovation, learning and discovery inspired by one of our most distinguished and beloved graduates, Dr. Marieb herself.”

The donation will go toward the college’s nursing engineering center, scholarships for students in need, an endowed professorship and further research. The College of Nursing is also being renamed after Marieb.

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“The Elaine Marieb College of Nursing at UMass Amherst will shape the future of nursing in bold new ways. We know that in order to transform care, we must first transform education,” College of Nursing Dean Allison Vorderstrasse said in a statement. “As a center of discovery — and true to our namesake — the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing will inspire individual and collective growth, as we help prepare tomorrow’s leaders and advance the field. The foundation’s gift is evidence of the stature of our program and the impact we have on our students and the community.”

UMass says this is the third major gift they’ve received in recent weeks, adding to a $50 million to increase access and opportunity at the state school, and $170 million for UMass Medical School.

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CBSBoston.com Staff