The MassMutual Foundation, Inc.—a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual)—today announced it is providing the University of Massachusetts Amherst $15 million over 10 years to further strengthen its world-class data science and cybersecurity research and education programs in Western Massachusetts.
The grant, a signature contribution of the MassMutual Foundation—and one of the largest donations in UMass Amherst history—was outlined by Nick Fyntrilakis, MassMutual’s Vice President of Community Responsibility and President of the MassMutual Foundation, at a briefing at the UMass Center at Springfield, located in Tower Square, which will house the new cybersecurity initiative.
“The implementation of new technologies across all industries is occurring at an extremely rapid pace, driving demand for scientists skilled in analyzing data and protecting digital information,” said Fyntrilakis. “The MassMutual Foundation is making this gift to take these leading data science and cybersecurity research centers to the next level, and to ensure that both the Pioneer Valley and the commonwealth will be at the forefront of these emerging areas and a top destination for these important disciplines.”
A growing and exciting new facet of MassMutual’s corporate responsibility approach, the MassMutual Foundation is a dedicated corporate foundation created by MassMutual to manage eligible charitable contributions. The MassMutual Foundation’s long term goal is to provide a total of $100 million through targeted charitable investments over the next five years.
Fyntrilakis added that over the past 10 years, MassMutual has given back nearly $80 million to the communities where the company’s employees and agents live and work.
“Throughout our 165-year history, MassMutual has always made people a priority, and today that commitment to our policyowners, customers and the communities we serve continues with the creation of our Foundation,” said Fyntrilakis. “By giving back to our communities and providing economic opportunity, we are indeed strengthening the vitality of the region.”
In announcing the new UMass initiative, Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, "We are deeply grateful for this extraordinary investment by the MassMutual Foundation. Today’s announcement represents a private-public collaboration that will uniquely benefit the commonwealth. With this support, our researchers will expand our knowledge of data science and its uses and develop new cybersecurity systems to protect information networks."
Subbaswamy added, "Our internationally recognized faculty also will help prepare the next generation of leading computer scientists, creating new knowledge and educating a growing workforce to create a range of new economic opportunities."