Cummings commits $12.5 million to Boston’s only technical college

Clockwise, from back left: Cummings Foundation co-founder Bill Cummings, deputy director Laura Hiller, executive director Joyce Vyriotes, Cummings Properties president Eric Anderson, Cummings Properties CEO Dennis Clarke, BFCIT president and Foundation trustee Aisha Francis, Ph.D., and the Honorable Margot Botsford, a Foundation trustee

BOSTON – The philanthropic arm of Woburn-based commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties has committed $12.5 million to Boston’s only technical college.

In recognition of this major gift, the nonprofit institution has added “Cummings” to its name and is now known as Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (BFCIT).

“Our shared interest in supporting the regional economy and advancing economic inclusion compelled us to support the college’s impressive workforce development initiatives,” said Bill Cummings, founder of both Cummings Properties and Cummings Foundation. “Our hope is that others will join us by making significant investments in this institution and schools like it whose work has the power to directly impact economic progress and individual prosperity.”

BFCIT strives to forge technical career pathways for students typically underrepresented in post-secondary education. The majority of those enrolled are first-generation college students and self-identify as students of color. Additionally, 99 percent of its student population receives financial aid.

Among BFCIT’s offerings are a number of programs to prepare students for careers in the construction industry such as Energy Efficiency, CAD Drafting, Construction Management, HVAC&R Technology, and Practical Electricity. It also has degree and certificate programs for clean tech, life sciences, robotics, and other growing fields.

The total contribution from Cummings nearly matches the school’s annual operating budget. According to Dr. Aisha Francis, BFCIT president, the gift will help BFCIT to remain financially accessible to students as well as continue to develop stimulating academic programming that meets the evolving workforce needs of the region’s leading industries.

“Cummings Foundation’s commitment to our work is a vote of confidence in our faculty and staff, our programs, and our focus on the future needs of an evolving technical field,” said Francis.

With this partnership executed, BFCIT joins Tufts University, University of Global Health Equity, and Endicott College as a Cummings-named affiliated college.

The school’s name change will be paired with a comprehensive brand update for the college, to be unveiled later this year. Also on the horizon is a transition to its new purpose-built campus in Roxbury’s Nubian Square.

Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology is an affordable, urban, private, nonprofit college committed to student success and career readiness in technology fields. Through personalized support, hands-on learning, and industry-informed curricula, BFCIT prepares graduates for work, life-long learning, and citizenship. More information is available at

Cummings Foundation’s philanthropic focus is primarily on giving back in the areas where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed on a pro bono basis by Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free suburban space, most of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

The Foundation has now awarded more than $320 million to local nonprofits and will announce the recipients of an additional $25 million in funding this June.