Tom and Donna May

MILLION DOLLAR GIFT

Tom '69 and Donna (Jermyn) '70 May are the first alumni in Stonehill history to make a $1 million gift to the College. According to Tom and Donna, the gift represents their vote of confidence and their gratitude to the institution that brought them together.

"Forty years ago, if you asked me if I'd ever have a million dollars in my lifetime, I would have told you 'no,'" says Tom, president and chief executive officer of Boston-based NSTAR, which distributes electricity to 1.4 million Massachusetts customers. "My father died when I was 13, and I always had at least two jobs so I could contribute to the family."

At the urging of his mother and his older sister, Tom chose to attend Stonehill, some distance from his home in Wethersfield, Conn. "They thought a small, Catholic school would be good for me," he recalls. And it ends up, they were right.

"It was a wonderful community, like a big extended family. Back then, the priests and the brothers lived in the dorms. They watched out for us and helped us to be better people, whether we wanted to or not."

"Stonehill was such a wonderful place to go to college. The professors, students, everyone was so caring and so involved," echoes Donna.

"I was a classmate of Donna's, so I knew her and Tom as students," says Vice President for Advancement Francis X. Dillon '70. "Over the years, they have been as constant as the Northern Star in their support for Stonehill, so it does not surprise me that they set a new standard for alumni generosity and commitment."

"As a trustee, Tom is a leader. Engaged and very generous with his time and expertise, he prods us to approach our challenges in a rigorous, focused manner," says President Mark Cregan, C.S.C. '78. "We are a stronger institution because of his involvement and love of the College."

"It feels good to be able to make this gift," says Tom, "especially because of where I came from. Halfway through Stonehill, I was going to drop out because I didn't have enough money. But Fr. [William] Gartland and others found the funds to keep me going. I've never forgotten that. It's a privilege for us to be able to give back."