Thank you Chairs Gobi and Rogers, Vice Chairs Comerford and Gentile, and members of the Joint Committee on Higher Education for the opportunity to speak to you about An Act relative to the endowment match program.

My name is Bob Hildreth.  I have co-founded nonprofit organizations with community leaders in  Lynn, Chelsea, Boston, and other Massachusetts communities. They each strive to ensure that our higher education system is accessible, equitable, and of high-quality.

As the son of two public school teachers who has benefited greatly from higher education. I have watched with alarm the financial costs our students face to get a public education. And as a businessman who can sniff out a good deal, I am attracted to public/private partnerships that leverage taxpayer money with private donations. We need more of them.

This is why, In 2019, I testified before this committee in favor of An Act Relative to the Endowment Match Program, and I would like to thank the legislature for their appropriations of $10M for FY 2020-21. And this is why I donated to six institutions of higher learning that lead to $1 million in endowment funding  mainly for annual scholarships.

But the benefit is told not as much in the numbers but in the personal stories of the students who earned these scholarships which i have tried to highlight in a letter i have sent to each of you. 

You are not alone.  To this day, twenty-four other states have created similar matching fund programs, which have all yielded a substantial return on investment. 

This is why I respectfully urge you to support Senator Eric Lesser and Representative Jacob R. Oliveira’s bill “An Act relative to the endowment match program” (H1357,S842), which proposes to extend $20,000,000 for the purposes of continuing the implementation of this program.