The gift was donated by media executive and actress Oprah Winfrey at the Chancellor’s Speaker Series on Thursday, matching the $1.5 million already raised by the university through sponsorship for the event and sale of tickets.
“Oprah Winfrey’s visit will provide scholarship support for UMass Lowell for years to come,” Chancellor Jacquie Moloney said. “We are so honored to share an evening with one of the most powerful and most positive people on Earth.”
Winfrey made the surprise announcement during a conversation with chancellor Moloney at the Tsongas Center. She said that after meeting six Oprah Winfrey Scholars on stage, she was inspired to gift more for the scholarship program.
“It is an honor to meet each of you,” Winfrey told the students. “I have read each of your letters. I was so moved by each of your stories that coming here and speaking and sharing this beautiful evening with you all, I want to do even more. I would like to match the $1.5 million dollars so students like yourselves can continue in the path of the greatest, purest, truest expression of themselves, because of you and your letters. Thank you so much!”
The university says that the amount will be used to provide accessible and affordable education to new students – mostly the first-generation college attendees.