DARTMOUTH — UMass Dartmouth will be expanding programs at its Leduc Center for Civic Engagement after accepting a $1 million donation in a ceremony on Thursday.

According to a release from the university, the funding comes from Robert and Jeanne Leduc, for whom the center is named.

It will support three programs at the civic center, which was named after the Leducs following another $1 million donation from the couple in 2012.

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The first program, a newly created 'Leduc Leaders' program, will recruit students community service-based internships.

A second iniative supported by the gift will be the Engaged Scholars program, which supports faculty in community-engaged research.

The scholars in the program will help respond to challenges confronted by the community.

Finally, part of the gift will also go toward expanding Arnie's Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry for UMass Dartmouth community members experiencing food insecurity.

"It has been 10 years since our initial gift to UMass Dartmouth and the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement. In that time frame, the Leduc Center has surpassed all our expectations,” said UMass Dartmouth graduate Robert Leduc.

“UMass Dartmouth is now known nationally for its work in community service and service-learning. They are making a difference every day and we are happy to be a part of it."

“All of us at UMass Dartmouth are extremely grateful to Bob and Jeanne for everything they have done for our students and the university over many years,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Dr. Mark Fuller.

“In particular, their support of the Leduc Center and its outreach programs that impact thousands of children and vulnerable people each year has had a profound impact on the whole SouthCoast community.”

The Leduc Center connects UMass staff and students with the wider SouthCoast community through service-learning and a variety of partnerships.

During the 2020-21 academic year, Leduc Center programming generated more than 189,000 hours of service valued at $6.6 million, according to the university.

"The Leduc's have been extremely generous with their time and treasure. This gift will help us reinforce some of our successful programs and start new ones,” said Leduc Center director Dr. Matthew Roy.

“We couldn't be more grateful for their generosity. They understand that education is the economic driver in our region."

The gift was presented after the center's annual Advisory Board meeting, which also featured civic engagement awards for UMass Dartmouth community members.

This year’s recipients were community leader Bruce Rose, Decision and Information Sciences Professor Tim Shea, and Class of 2021 students Maggie Sullivan and Isabelle Joseph.

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