UNH grad explains why she gave $20 million to her alma mater
It was Carsey’s second major gift to UNH, and is in addition to donations she has made to the University of California-Irvine, where her children attended college. In 2002, she gave $7.5 million to establish the Carsey Institute at UNH. The Institute, in part, conducts national and regional policy research on vulnerable children, youth and families and on sustainable community development.
The gifts to the schools came after a career spent producing prime-time hits including “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne” and “That 70s Show.” “My definition of a hit is something where people watch it and say ‘Whoa!’” the Emmy award winner said. “You want it to be worthy of your air time.”
“Frannie’s Turn,” a situation comedy about a homemaker frustrated with her life, was on the air only about a month before being cancelled.
Carsey said she knew she wanted a career in television, even while growing up as the daughter of a steel worker in Weymouth, Mass.
Carsey’s first job in the entertainment industry was as a tour guide at NBC studios in the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza building. She went from being a tour guide to getting “the lowest job you can possibly get,” working on the set of “The Tonight Show.”
Then she got her first break, when she was hired in the early 1970s to work at the “struggling” ABC in a “low-level job.”
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