Martin T. Meehan Inaugurated as Chancellor of UMass Lowell

04/04/2008
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Week of Events Raises More Than $1 Million for Student Scholarships

LOWELL ߝ Martin T. Meehan today was inaugurated as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the culmination of a week of events that raised over $1 million for student scholarships.

More than $700,000 has been raised through donations and sponsorships ߝ including $50,000 from Charles Hoff ’66 ߝ which will grow to more than $1 million as the result of a 50 percent match from the University of Massachusetts system.

Today’s inauguration capped a week of forums, lectures and exhibits under the theme of “Building a New Vision Together: Excellence Through Innovation.” The inauguration served as an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the University and raise funds for student scholarships.

“Our new vision involves taking a strong research university to the next level toward wider opportunities for our students, increased engagement with our community, and heightened excellence in teaching, research and scholarship,” Meehan said.

Meehan also announced the first scholarship from the Martin T. Meehan Educational Excellence Endowment Fund, created through inaugural donations, is being awarded to senior Rachel Carnes of Haverhill, who was hit by a truck while waiting for a bus on University Avenue in January.

Although his official inauguration as chancellor was today, Meehan ߝ who took the post of chancellor on July 1 ߝ already has taken steps to move the University forward.

The achievements of his first nine months of leadership at UMass Lowell include hiring a nationally recognized provost; announcing a bold plan to grow the University through new academic and research buildings; implementing plans to increase the number of students living on campus; reinvigorating a hockey program that had been on the brink of elimination; improving the University’s profile and recruitment efforts through targeted advertising and marketing; and enhancing fundraising through record-setting events and private donations.

“To help realize our new vision, I will be an active listener, a collaborative leader who is accessible and responsive, who values accountability, transparency and an optimistic, entrepreneurial spirit.  I say to each member of this community ߝ to my new colleagues ߝ I will need your help to guide this University forward,” Meehan said.

More than 1,000 people ߝ including government and academic leaders, and students, faculty and staff from UMass Lowell ߝ attended the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Campus Recreation Center. Donned in colorful academic regalia, a procession of honored guests, delegates from nearly 50 colleges and universities, and UMass Lowell faculty were led by 30 students representing the University’s colleges.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking elected woman in American history, delivered the inauguration’s keynote address.

“I am deeply honored to be a part of the inauguration of Marty Meehan as chancellor of his alma mater,” Pelosi said.  “He will bring to UMass Lowell the same hard work and determination he brought to his outstanding service in Washington and every member of the UMass community will benefit from his vision and leadership.” 

Meehan, 51, is the second chancellor and 14th leader of UMass Lowell and its predecessor schools, which were founded in the 1890s. A native of Lowell, Meehan graduated with honors from UMass Lowell in 1978, where he studied education and political science. He went on to Suffolk University in Boston, where he received a master’s degree in public administration in 1981 and a juris doctor in 1986.  He holds honorary degrees from Suffolk and Green Mountain College in Vermont, and served as an adjunct faculty member at UMass Lowell in the late 1980s. 

Meehan represented the Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007, when he left that post to become chancellor.  While in Congress, Meehan served on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees, and built a national reputation as a leader, reforming campaign finance laws, taking on tobacco companies, working to preserve Medicare and Social Security and supporting economic growth that is worker- and environmentally friendly.

At today’s inauguration ceremony, Gov. Deval Patrick was a featured speaker. “As a son of Lowell and UMass Lowell, Chancellor Meehan knows the value of public higher education and the value of the institution to the city and the Commonwealth. We share the vision of making public higher education in Massachusetts second to none in the nation, and I look forward to our ongoing partnership.”

Government leaders who represent the region in Congress and state Legislature also spoke.

“As an activist member of Congress, Rep. Meehan has been a dedicated advocate for our communities and has made a real difference in our country,” said U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. “And now Chancellor Meehan’s impact will be felt at UMass Lowell and across the region; he has the background, skills and passion to be a great asset to the University at such a critical time, leading the institution to great achievements in the innovation economy for the 21st century.” 

State Sen. Steven Panagiotakos said, “Only someone with Marty’s resume could understand the role this great university has played in ensuring the economic health of Lowell and the entire region.”

UMass President Jack Wilson and Robert Manning, UMass Board of Trustees chairman and a UMass Lowell alumnus, represented the University of Massachusetts system and performed the official investiture ceremony.

“Today, 113 years from its founding, Marty Meehan raises our aspirations for UMass Lowell with his love for this University, with his vision, and with his infectious passion for what is possible,” Wilson said.

“As an alumnus, I am excited to see UMass Lowell inaugurate Marty Meehan, a man with the energy and vision to move the campus forward. The fact that Marty is also a Lowell alum makes me very proud,” Manning said.

David Sargent, president of Suffolk University, said,  “I’ve known Marty since he came to Suffolk University three decades ago, an honors graduate of the very institution of which he is now chancellor,” said Sargent. 

 “In his success today, he is an exemplar of what a person can achieve through higher education, combined with hard work, determination and vision.”

Other participants included Lowell Vice Mayor Rita Mercier, UMass Lowell Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney; Interim Provost Donald Pierson; Prof. Ann Marie Hurley of the Faculty Senate; the Rev. Nicholas Sannella of Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell; the Very Rev. Dr. Cleopas Strongylis of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community of Lowell; UMass Lowell Student Government President Steve Holstrom; UMass Lowell Honors Program student Alexandria Murray; and Lura Smith, assistant to the president of Middlesex Community College.

Watch the Inauguration
 
UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu

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