Closeup of hands, notebooks, pens while students and teacher gather around table

Student-centered approach earns honors for microbiology professor

Webley among elite group chosen for UMass system-wide honor 

June 5, 2019

Wilmore Webley, associate professor of microbiology and director of pre-med/pre-health advising, is one of five University of Massachusetts faculty awarded the 2019 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching for their exemplary dedication to students and the university. The faculty members—one from each UMass campus—will receive $10,000 awards in recognition of their commitment to academic excellence. 

UMass Lowell alumni Rob and Donna Manning established the Manning Prize in 2016 to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service. 

“These incredible faculty members work tirelessly to ensure that UMass students receive a world-class education,” said Rob Manning, a 1984 graduate of UMass Lowell. “Donna and I know from our own experience the power that faculty have to transform their students’ lives and we’re proud to be able to honor that aspect of their work with this prize.” 

Donna Manning earned her nursing degree and master of business administration from UMass Lowell. “The honorees are recognized for their incredible research and scholarship, but it’s their ability to bring that knowledge into the classroom that makes a difference to students.” 

Rob Manning, who is executive chairman of MFS Investment Management and chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, credits a math professor at UMass Lowell with helping him land the job that launched his career. Donna Manning was an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center for nearly 30 years. They are among the largest contributors to UMass in its history. 

“Rob and Donna understand that faculty are the backbone of our extraordinary university and the reason that our students graduate equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “We are deeply grateful to them for their unmatched generosity to UMass and for giving back to faculty members.” 

The award recipients were honored at a luncheon at the UMass Club in Boston on Tuesday, May 14. 

Webley discusses the “meaningful work” students do at UMass in this 2018 video 

Read on:
Webley among five honored with Manning Teaching Awards

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