The UMass Donahue Institute is named for Maurice A. Donahue, a legislator of uncommon integrity who played a major role in shaping the state's higher education landscape, including the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Donahue, the former president of the Massachusetts State Senate, was the founder of the University's Institute for Governmental Services.
After leaving the Legislature, Mr. Donahue joined the University of Massachusetts in 1970 to teach and, with Dr. Arthur W. Eve, built the Institute for Governmental Services from a staff of three to forty-five by the time of his 1988 retirement. Under his leadership, the Institute trained more than 100,000 public employees, worked on public affairs conferences and research projects, and published more than 100 guides and informational pamphlets. The Institute was renamed in his honor in February, 1989.
Dr. Arthur W. Eve was named Executive Director in 1988 and Dr. J. Lynn Griesemer was named Deputy Director in 1989. In the mid 1980s, the Donahue Institute expanded its services to include corporate clients along with state and local government and the non-profit sector and the annual revenues of the Institute reached $3 million.
As the University became a five-campus system in the early 1990s, the Donahue Institute began doing special projects for the President's Office. The work of the Institute expanded to include University outreach and economic development and analysis.
Dr. Eve retired in July, 1998. At that time, Dr. J. Lynn Griesemer became the Executive Director and John Klenakis became Deputy Director. John Klenakis retired in January 2012 and Dr. Eric Heller became Deputy Director. The Institute now has $13 million in annual revenues.
The continued growth and dynamic service of the Donahue Institute are a testament to the dedication and vision of its founder.