Suffolk gets $10 million gift from real estate CEO

Suffolk University said Tuesday that a local real estate executive pledged a $10 million gift to the school in support of student scholarships — the largest single gift of its kind in the university’s history.

The university said the pledge came from Suffolk alumnus Leonard J. Samia, a 1969 graduate of the school and president and CEO of The Samia Cos., a Boston residential and commercial real estate company. The gift will fund scholarships that will provide access to life-changing educational opportunities for students from Massachusetts who have significant financial need, the school said.

As part of the gift, Suffolk’s newest academic building at 20 Somerset St. will be named the Leonard J. Samia ’69 Academic Center.

Samia earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Suffolk University; his daughter Olivia graduated from Suffolk in 2012 with a degree in communication and advertising; and daughter Alexandra earned a Suffolk master’s degree in business administration in 2011.

“Lennie Samia understands firsthand the power of education to lift people up,” said Suffolk’s acting president, Marisa Kelly, in a statement. “This truly transformational gift will open doors and create new pathways to success for generations of Suffolk students to come. It will expand access to a Suffolk education for many promising students with the greatest need. We are so grateful to Lennie and his family for this extraordinarily generous gift, which will permanently link the Samia family to the success of highly capable Suffolk students for years to come.”