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Bentley University students celebrate at graduation

Manfredi Family Establishes the Finish Line Grant Fund

Terry Cronin

Bentley Board Chair J. Paul Condrin III ’83, P ’19, ’22 and President Alison Davis-Blake this week announced a gift of $1.5 million from Steven ’73 and Christine (Smith) ’73 Manfredi, P ’10. The commitment will create the Finish Line Grant Fund, which will award scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 to undergraduate students who encounter financial hardship on their way to completing their degree.

Bentley University graduates Chris and Steve Manfredi
                  Chris and Steve Manfredi

“It can be difficult for some students to get over the finish line with funding their education,” said Steve, who served as chair of the board of trustees from 2012 to 2018. “Chris and I want to help students who encounter financial challenges that could potentially disrupt their academic career. For every dollar we prevent a student from borrowing, we make it easier for that student long-term.”

In addition to lessening the debt burden for students and ensuring those in good standing can complete their Bentley education, the Finish Line Grant Fund will free up other financial aid dollars to help other students in need.

“We know the value of a Bentley education,” said Steve, whose daughter, Laura (Manfredi) Barclay is a member of the class of 2010. “With these grants, we are telling students, ‘Don’t stop now — you’re close! Continue to work hard and the opportunities and rewards will follow.’”

“Steve and Chris’ expendable grant fund will impact students in need right away. The Finish Line Grant Fund is further demonstration of their commitment to Bentley University and its students, from freshman year through graduation,” said President Davis-Blake. 

The Manfredis have been generous supporters of their alma mater for decades. They were founding donors of the Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business and members of the first cohort of Great Benefactors — individuals whose lifetime gift commitments to Bentley total $1 million or more. 

“Less debt will provide students a measure of relief, allowing them to focus on what they need to do to launch a successful career. Hopefully, that student will someday be in a position to pass it on,” said Steve.

Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been raised from alumni and friends in support of scholarships for Bentley students. “I am certain that this recent, most generous gift from Steve and Chris will be an inspiration to Bentley alumni across the country to give back to their alma mater in a meaningful way,” said Condrin.