Alumni / June 11, 2024

Why I Give: A Game-Changing Gift

Boyle’s $1M Gift Supports New Virtual Teaching Studio

Bill Boyle ’81 has donated $1M to fund a virtual teaching studio at Smith School, aiming to enhance global learning with advanced tech. Boyle previously launched the Terp Startup Fellows program to support student entrepreneurs.

The last time Bill Boyle ’81 made a big investment in Smith (2019), it was to launch the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s campus-wide Terp Startup Fellows program to help students turn their ideas into companies. “We’re hoping that we can help them get to the next level,” he said.

Now Boyle is helping the Smith School take learning to the next level—with a new $1 million gift to fund the construction of a virtual teaching studio that will be the first of its kind on UMD’s campus. “My hope is everyone keeps pushing for positive change. That you challenge the status quo, and break through existing barriers and roadblocks for a better tomorrow,” Boyle said in a speech during the Smith spring 2024 undergraduate commencement. He encouraged graduates to “create a brighter future— for all of us.”

Dean Prabhudev Konana called Boyle’s gift “game-changing.” It will support the Smith School’s strategic plan to reimagine learning by renovating and modernizing classrooms. “This classroom will allow us to deliver online courses and research content to learners around the world,” says Holly Mann, director of information technology. The media studio will be equipped with advanced technologies for video production. It will also have a floor-to-ceiling video wall to provide an immersive experience for remote learners. Interactive tools will make collaboration between instructors and their students easier.

Bill Boyle
Bill Boyle ’81 addresses graduates, sharing his journey and insights on the transformative power of technology at the commencement ceremony on May 22, 2024.

“We cannot express enough gratitude for Bill’s leadership and unwavering commitment to our institution, as well as his service and friendship to the school,” Konana says. Boyle, who co-founded and ran internet and telecom fiber provider FiberGate Inc. before selling it in 2012, has been a long-time donor and active advisory board member and mentor with the Dingman Center, where he works with several startups. In addition to funding Terp Startup Fellows, he also mentors students in the program and funded Dingman’s Terp Startup Accelerator summer program.

“I cannot overemphasize how helpful both programs have been for us,” says Kat Close ARHU/AGNR ’23, co-founder of Wise Cities, a website that connects people with resources and services to make aging at home easier. The company went through the accelerator program in summer 2023 and is currently in the Terp Startup Fellows program. She says she’s grateful for Boyle’s support. “He’s made such a big contribution to us as people and to our business. I don’t know if I can thank him enough,” Close says. Boyle currently works with several startups, many of which have come through the Dingman Center Angels investor network. Some of his investments include Card Isle, Divvy Cloud, Precise Target, Vitus Vet, Cybrary, ZeroFox, and Wild Kombucha.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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