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Franklin Institute changes name to also honor a more recent donor

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology - which grew out of a bequest from ol' Ben himself - announced today it's changing its name to the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology, or Franklin Cummings Tech for short, in honor of the Cummings Foundation, which gave the school a $12.5 million grant in 2021.

The school is adopting the new name as it gets ready to move from its long-time building in the South End to a new home on Harrison Avenue at Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury.

The newly re-dubbed Franklin Cummings, which focuses on low-cost two-year programs for students preparing for careers in technical fields says:

Our fresh new brand captures our revitalized focus, commitment, and work to illuminate a new path in education designed for the future of our students, the future of the work that brings them opportunity, and the future of the communities they live in.

On his death in 1790, Franklin left bequests both to Boston, where he grew up, and Philadelphia, where he lived most of his adult life. Philadelphia long ago used up all of its funds, but Boston carefully shepherded its money by running a fund that gave interest-bearing loans to "young married artificers" - craftsmen just starting out in their careers. His will called for most of the money to be given to Boston for public works on the 100th anniversary of his death - but with a continuing fund used to benefit people starting out in technical trades for another 100 years after that.

The only problem: Franklin directed that the ministers of the three oldest Episcopal, Congregational and Presbyterian churches serve on a board that oversaw the money, but by 1890, the oldest Episcopal church in Boston - King's Chapel - had become Unitarian, and the minister of Old South Congregational Church wanted nothing to do with the money and there were doctrinal disputes at the time over the meaning of "Congregational" and so which church was the next oldest.

Naturally, somebody sued when Boston tried to spend some of the money. A judge ruled the only solution was to create a board of men of distinction to oversee the fund - and that board eventually got the idea of abandoning the loans and building a technical school. One of the board members, who also happened to be the president of MIT, convinced Andrew Carnegie to match the roughly $408,000 the fund had grown into, more than enough to buy land in the South End and build a school.



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BFIT , which could fit well into many advertising slogans.

Voting closed 17

Aside the incomparable Ben Franklin, for a namesake of Cummings Properties... kinda fucking tacky IMHO

At least Tufts Vet School got 80m

Endicott College School of Nursing 20m

Roger Williams School of Architecture 20m

But for a largely inner city student body, you get naming rights next to the dude who had a kite and a key for 12.5m

Voting closed 33

I'm sure that $12.5m made at least as much of a difference to Franklin, if not more, than any of those other donations.

Voting closed 22

BFIT sold Berkeley Street property to build Nubian Square campus with some decent grant funding from the State as well.

Who's building the Nubian campus? Why Cummings of course.

In 2023, what business or academic institution sells naming/branding rights for 12.5m? Not even Joe's Pizza shop down the block is who, that's literally chump change for a Fidelity portfolio manager has in their vacation fund.

I smell a shell game of financial irregularities ...

Voting closed 18

“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

Voting closed 5

What's interesting is that the $400k that Carnegie kicked in in 1890 is very close to that when you adjust for inflation--actually, a hair more.

Voting closed 6

you couldn’t just give them the money?

from now on, you’re always gonna be known as that asshole who couldn’t respect Benjamin Franklin, one of most brilliant of our founding fathers

what a dick move

and just shockingly clueless, socially

Voting closed 38

BPS has some smart gifted youth with pockets not deep who deserve a chance.

Voting closed 1


No harm in voicing an opinion to the Cummings Foundation regarding this.
I sure will.

Voting closed 8

Wasn't he in a series of porn in the mid-90s?

Voting closed 11

"Big Ben"

Voting closed 7

Who basically kickstarted the whole Grandpa porn genre. Interestingly enough, he had a lengthy career as an Army officer before porn.

Voting closed 2

at least as far back as April 5 of 2022, the Commonwealth knew about the new name and used it in a press release...


Voting closed 4

I will continue to call it the Franklin Institute, much as the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where I learned a love of science as a kid, will always only be known as the Franklin Institute to me, regardless of any official usurpations that might occur.

Voting closed 3