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Lucy McFadden 70F with students

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Alum Makes $2 Million Donation, Second Seven-Figure Contribution This Month

100% Trustee Participation in Change in the Making Campaign led by retired NASA scientist and College Trustee Dr. Lucy McFadden.

Hampshire College is announcing its second multimillion-dollar donation in less than a month. Dr. Lucy McFadden 70F contributed $2 million to partner with Paula H. and James S. Crown 71F on the Crown Founders Challenge, which aims to raise significant support from the College’s first five entering classes, 1970–1975, in honor of Hampshire’s 50th Anniversary year. Change in the Making: A Campaign for Hampshire has raised $22,538,810 of its $60 million goal since its launch, in January 2019.

Lucy McFadden
Dr. Lucy McFadden

A retired NASA scientist and namesake of her own asteroid, Dr. McFadden is known simply as “Dr. Lucy” by Hampshire College students studying in the Cole Science Center, where she helped refurbish the innovative and collaborative open laboratories.

“As a member of Hampshire College's Board of Trustees and an alumna of the first class, I’m thrilled to further commit to the future of Hampshire along with my friend Jim Crown,” said Dr. McFadden. “I found my passion for scientific exploration at Hampshire, like so many students who’ve had scientific fields opened for them by the College’s distinctive and collaborative approach to STEM. After a long and fulfilling career exploring our solar system, I can't think of anywhere more deserving of my support.”

Hampshire welcomed its 50th Anniversary class in the fall of 2020. This is the tenth multimillion-dollar donation the College has received in its history.

“Any institution would be fortunate to have a person like Lucy McFadden in its corner,” said Hampshire President Ed Wingenbach. “Lucy’s impressive career with NASA highlights Hampshire’s strength in educating scientists and illustrates one example of what we mean when we say our graduates are changemakers. Her leadership of our campaign, her mentorship of our students, and her dedicated board service are exemplary. And alongside those contributions, she has quietly built a legacy of remarkable philanthropy for her alma mater. On behalf of our entire community, I am so grateful to Dr. Lucy.”

I found my passion for scientific exploration at Hampshire, like so many students who’ve had scientific fields opened for them by the College’s distinctive and collaborative approach to STEM. After a long and fulfilling career exploring our solar system, I can't think of anywhere more deserving of my support.

Dr. Lucy McFadden 70F

Dr. McFadden is a co-chair of Change in the Making: A Campaign for Hampshire, along with fellow alums Ken Burns 71F, Julie Schecter 71F, and Gail O’Neill Caulkins 73F. Initiated in 2019, the campaign calls for $60 million by 2024 to fuel Hampshire’s curricular transformation, enact its plan for financial sustainability, and maintain its leadership as a distinctive and experimenting institution.

As chair of the Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee, Dr. McFadden spearheaded a campaign to secure 100 percent trustee commitment through the end of Change in the Making. Says fellow Trustee Elle Chan 87F, “Lucy is such an inspiration, it’s easy to join her in supporting our alma mater. Since its founding, Hampshire has been influential for the higher-education landscape — many, even most, high-impact practices and curricular innovations that have reshaped undergraduate education were pioneered here.”

About Dr. McFadden

Lucy McFadden, scientist emerita, retired from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 2016. After receiving her BA from Hampshire College, she pursued her passion for science and studied the composition of asteroids and comets to understand the formation of the solar system, and went on to earn a master’s from MIT and her PhD from the University of Hawaii. She was founding faculty director of the University of Maryland’s College Park Scholars, Science, Discovery, and the Universe program, and served on committees of the National Academies of Sciences in engineering and medicine that addressed and provided recommendations on subjects relevant to NASA. She also coedited two versions of The Encyclopedia of the Solar System published by Elsevier’s Academic Press.

As co-investigator for NASA’s Deep Impact and Dawn robotic space missions, one to a comet and the other to two main-belt asteroids, she led the Education and Public Outreach programs to inspire students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She joined the Goddard Space Flight Center as chief for higher education in 2010, directing the internship program for students and postdoctoral scientists, and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2015) and president of the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences (2015–17). Asteroid 3066 McFadden is named in her honor. Since 2013, she has served on Hampshire’s Board of Trustees.

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