Flatley Foundation Creates Scholarship Fund at Wentworth

February 26, 2020

students graduates standing in front of a window

The Braintree-based Flatley Foundation is giving $1.75 million to Wentworth to create an endowed scholarship fund for local students who want to major in life sciences at the university.

Established 38 years ago by the late businessman and real estate developer Thomas J. Flatley, the Flatley Foundation is overseen in part by Thomas’ son, Dan, a trustee of the organization who jointly announced the new gift with Wentworth President Mark A. Thompson. The Flatley family has numerous connections to Wentworth: Dan’s father and son, Thomas J. Flatley and Thomas J. Flatley II, attended the Institute, and Dan is a past member of Wentworth’s Board of Trustees.

After coming to the United States from Ireland in the 1950s, Thomas Flatley served two years in the U.S. Army then attended classes at Wentworth on his way to obtaining a plumber’s and electrician’s license. He went into the construction business and developed an apartment building, nursing homes, hotels, shopping centers and office parks. Thomas J. Flatley II graduated from Wentworth in 2015 with a degree in construction management.

The Flatley Foundation previously funded scholarships at Wentworth, and resources remaining from those contributions are being merged with the new gift to create the Flatley Discovery Endowed Scholarship Fund at the university.

The Flatley Fund is included within a $10 million scholarship initiative at Wentworth called Advancing Student Access and Potential (ASAP), which is intended to increase the amount of permanent financial aid available to students. Thompson announced that initiative in October 2019, saying he intended it mainly to provide access to Wentworth for students who otherwise might not be able to attend the university. The university is taking $5 million of unrestricted funds from its endowment to match, dollar for dollar, the creation of new endowed scholarships of $25,000 or more. And it is matching gifts of $25,000 or more that are made to existing scholarship funds, which is where the new Flatley Foundation contribution fits in. Wentworth is matching the Foundation’s $1.75 million contribution—the largest ASAP commitment thus far.

“We are enormously grateful for this contribution,” said Thompson. “The Foundation’s generosity will allow us to welcome and support Boston students who, because of these scholarships, will benefit from Wentworth’s active-learning model and graduate with high-demand, life sciences degrees.”

The ASAP funds are intended to create high-school-to-college pathways for Boston youth; attract more women and other underrepresented populations to Wentworth’s engineering, science, design, and management programs; fill gaps after federal and state grants, and merit-based funding are awarded; support students who may need more time to complete their college degrees; and help students from lower-income or working-class families reduce their debt level at graduation.

Specifically, the Flatley Discovery Endowed Scholarships will be awarded to students who need financial assistance; who major in biomedical engineering, biological engineering or applied sciences; who are entering Wentworth as first-year students; and who live in the City of Boston and/or are eligible for Pell grants.

“We are happy to underwrite these new academic fields that Wentworth has embarked upon, to enable many more, very bright Wentworth students to succeed and provide leadership in relevant industries in the near future,” said Dan Flatley.

--Dennis Nealon

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