The Morristown-based college said the gift came from the estate of Antoinette M. Anastasia, a member of the Class of 1951, who passed away in December 2016.
Anastasia, who earned her bachelor of science in biology from the college, went on to graduate degrees from Columbia University.
She spent much of her career as a professor of biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, also worked for Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. Inc., among others.
“Dr. Anne was a wonderful friend to the college,” President Helen J. Streubert said in a prepared statement.
“Anne was always generous in spirt,” Streubert said. “Her gift is transformational at this time in the college’s history, as we continue to serve those who have not traditionally had access to higher education.”
Anastasia had previously given, anonymously, the largest outright gift in Saint Elizabeth’s history. The 2012 donation helped renovate the biology labs in the college’s Henderson Hall, and the biology wing is now named in her honor.
The Elizabeth resident received the 2015 Mother Xavier Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumna each year.
According to a December obituary on NJ.com, Anastasia was 87 when she died.