Tufts and Lesley universities have announced that they are co-beneficiaries of charitable trusts established by the late Frank C. Doble, a Boston technology pioneer and Tufts University graduate, and will each receive $136 million, the largest philanthropic gift in their respective histories.
Doble, who died in 1969, earned a degree in electrical engineering from Tufts in 1911 and maintained close ties with both universities, naming them in his estate plans as the primary beneficiaries of two trusts that together owned 87 percent of his company, Doble Engineering. The company, a worldwide leader in high-end diagnostic test solutions for the electric utility industry, was bought in November 2007, which led to the dissolution of the trusts and the distribution of their assets.
With its $136 million gift, Tufts plans to build a new laboratory, to be named in Doble's honor, that will enable scientists from the School of Engineering and the Department of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences to pursue scholarship and cooperative research at the university's Medford/Somerville campus. "New laboratories are needed in order to recruit the best faculty and enable them to thrive at Tufts as teachers and scholars," said university provost and senior vice president Jamshed Bharucha. "A new facility will also provide expanded opportunities for our students to get involved in research."
Lesley University, which Doble served as a trustee for almost twenty years, will use the gift to invest in academic programs, enhance student scholarships, expand and improve core facilities, and increase its endowment. "Frank Doble's generosity has roughly tripled the endowment of an institution deeply rooted in its mission to prepare men and women for careers that impact schools and communities nationally and internationally," said university president Joseph B. Moore. "We're privileged to play a role of sustaining the legacy of his remarkable life of discovery, learning, and service."