By: Grace Coughlan, Associate Editor
Towson University (TU) has received a $5.3 million donation from alumnus Dr. Fran Soistman, a record amount for the University.
Soistman, who graduated from Towson in 1979, is the Founder and President of Healthcare Management & Transformation Advisory Services LLC. He has served on both the Towson University Board of Visitors and the TU Foundation.
“Dr. Soistman’s gift is a remarkable extension of his legacy of generosity towards his alma mater,” President Kim Schatzel tweeted. “Fran’s leadership over the years has been extraordinary. This gift further demonstrates it, as the largest ever given to @TowsonU by an alum.”
Soistman has previously made donations which amount to over $600,000.
This gift comes following a record breaking year of donations to TU, including a recent $1 million from former physics professor and department chair, Dr. Eddie Loh, who retired from TU in 2010 after over 40 years of teaching, His donation will fund scholarships for TU physics students.
The $5.3 million will provide funding for an Athletic Academic Achievement Center, the College of Business & Economics, and the College of Health Professions.
“‘The new facility [the Athletic Academic Achievement Center], which will be located in the Field House, will accommodate more than 520 athletes and support on-site technology for project work, tutoring and academic advising,’” the University said. “‘It further reinforces TU’s commitment to its athletes, who have been recognized with the highest graduation success rate of the Division I University System of Maryland institutions.’”
Additionally, the donation will partially go towards the construction of a new College of Health Professions, and provide The College of Business & Economics students with scholarship opportunities annually.
“‘Soistman’s gift will also fully endow a wide range of scholarships in the College of Business & Economics, where he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, thus ensuring TU business students will reap the benefits of Soistman’s generosity annually,’” TU says.
While the donation directly funds multiple departments, it will also assist Schatzel’s priority to create a more diverse and inclusive campus at TU.
Last week, the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (OIIE) announced TU’s five-year plan to advance equity and diversity on campus.
“The plan serves as the guide, kind of a roadmap to Towson University, as we work to create the University, Towson University, that will create a sense of belonging equity that we have begun to work on in the last few years,” said Vice President of the OIIE Dr. Leah Cox.
“This plan represents the next phase in our pursuit of being recognized as a distinguished public institution that advances equitable access, inclusive learning and engagement in a diverse community,” reads the plan. “This plan is consistent with our university-wide strategic plan, building upon our most important goals.”
A portion of the donation will go towards improving resources which foster diversity and inclusion at TU.