NORTH ADAMS -- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts celebrated the largest donation in the college’s history during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-named Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation.
President Mary K. Grant announced the pledge of $5 million from The Feigenbaum Foundation to the college’s "Sowing Seeds for Success: The MCLA Campaign for the Future," as part of Friday’s gathering.
"With support from The Feigenbaum Foundation, this new endowment will support excellence in learning and teaching, the advancement of research at MCLA, entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at the college and throughout the Berkshires the Feigenbaums held so dear," she said, as a sign bearing the center’s new name was unveiled.
Grant added, "The legacies of Dr. Armand V. Feigenbaum and his brother, Donald S. Feigenbaum, as entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders, and their deep connections to Berkshire County, encapsulates the spirit and aspirations we hold for the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation."
The Feigenbaums, who founded the Pittsfield-based General Systems Inc. in 1968 and co-authored several books on management style and leadership, established their charitable foundation in 1988.
Through their foundation, the brothers have supported numerous nonprofits and cultural institutions, including the Berkshire Museum, which is home to the Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation.
"We are delighted MCLA is honoring the generosity and philanthropy of Donald and Armand Feigenbaum by naming this great facility after them," Foundation President Emil George said. "One of [the brothers’] primary directives is to focus on pursuits related to education and technology, science engineering and management. This is the foundation’s first major gift since the since the death of Donald and the retirement of Armand from major involvement in the foundation, both of which occurred in March of this year."
He also announced the establishment of a $20,000 annual scholarship in the name of Bernard "Bud" Riley, of Williamstown, a long-time advisor to the Feigenbaums and treasurer of the foundation, who died in August.
"Bud Riley is really the one who drove the bus on this one," George said. "In April, when we were discussing the foundation’s mission statement and what the brothers would have wanted, it was Bud who said he wanted to do something for MCLA."
Speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Gov. Deval Patrick; Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland; Carole Cornelison, commissioner of the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance; and Patrick Muraca, president of Nuclea Biotechnologies, as well as local and state officials.
The college also unveiled a new panoramic painting designed by Academy Award-winning artist Stephen Hannock, which was specifically made for the center’s atrium.