A $500,000 gift from Otilia Ferreira will be used to create a fund for scholarships and Luso-American research at UMass Dartmouth. Ferreira announced the gift at the five-year anniversary of the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives on October 9. Ferreira was also a principal founder for the archive. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the purpose of her latest gift.
In 2005, Ferreira made the lead gift to help create the archives which is now the largest collection of historical material documenting the experience of Portuguese immigrants in the United States. The holdings include genealogical records, newspapers, books, recordings, family photographs, scrapbooks and correspondence that document social history.
Named for Otilia Ferreira’s father, Affonso Gil Mendes, the archives will use the bequest to fund “The Rosa and Esther Santos-Ferrreira Endowment.” Mendes Ferrieria was a pioneer Portuguese-language radio and newspaper personality.
“Naming the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives was a lifelong dream come true,” Otilia Ferreira said in the release. “The legacy of our family and others in the Portuguese community will live on in the archives.”
The new fund will support scholarships for some degree students, new acquisitions, and support research in Portuguese culture or the Portuguese-American experience, the release stated.