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June 11, 2024

Nichols receives $2M alumnus estate gift for criminal justice program

A large building with a statue of a bison in front of it. Photo | Courtesy of Nichols College Nichols College in Dudley

Nichols College has received a $2 million bequest from the estate of James Dunbar, a 1951 alumnus of the Dudley school.

A portion of the gift will be used to underwrite experiential learning initiatives and scholarship in the criminal justice program, which Dunbar helped launch in 2002 and supported until his death in 2020, according to a press release on Monday. Nichols will name the program in his honor.

“Jim Dunbar was an ardent benefactor of Nichols for six decades, supporting scholarships, capital projects and impactful professional development opportunities for criminal justice students,” Nichols President William Pieczynski said in the Monday press release. “He continually expressed his gratitude for the education he received at Nichols, and we are excited to be able to express ours with the naming of the James L. Dunbar Criminal Justice Program.”

In addition to the program, the school will be naming the reading room in the library in honor of Dunbar.

Dunbar has made other contributions to the college, including covering the costs for selected Nichols students to attend the Global Security Exchange, the annual conference of professional security organization ASIS International. Additionally, Dunbar created two endowed scholarships at Nichols and made a gift to a scholarship supporting students with dyslexia, a condition he faced as a student.

Dunbar founded security firm Dunbar Armored in 1956 and served as its chair until it was acquired by the U.S. security firm Brink's Co. in 2018. Dunbar Armored was considered the largest independently owned armored transport, cash vault services, and full service security firm in the U.S.

“The insights and opportunities Mr. Dunbar and Dunbar Armored have afforded our students over the years through his time and generosity have been game changing, especially the sponsorship of the GSX conference,” Boyd Brown, associate professor of criminal justice at Nichols, said in the press release. “Our students gain access to invaluable knowledge and a network of thousands of industry professionals. The students consider this one of the most impactful experiences they have during their time at Nichols College.”

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