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Tribute to Lowell Native Who Served in U.S. Senate, Ran for President
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
WHAT: The life and legacy of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas will be celebrated in a new permanent exhibit at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.
“A Journey of Purpose: The Paul E. Tsongas Exhibit” covers his career in public service from volunteering in the Peace Corps to returning to his native Lowell and subsequent runs for office, from the Lowell City Council to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. His final campaign was for the 1992 Democratic nomination for president when Tsongas went head-to-head with Bill Clinton. Tsongas died in 1997 at age 55 following complications from treatment of a recurrence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
During his years of public service, Tsongas was a champion not only for Lowell and the Merrimack Valley, but also for national causes including economic reform, equal rights, peace and justice, and environmental protection. Tsongas co-founded the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan nonprofit group focused on national issues including the budget deficit.
The new exhibit grew out of the university’s recent acquisition of the Tsongas Center, when Chancellor Marty Meehan determined more information about Paul Tsongas’s leadership and legacy should be a permanent part of the building named for him. The exhibit, which features multimedia components including a video, replaces an earlier, smaller tribute and will be stationed near an existing mural of Tsongas in the center’s lobby.
To research the exhibit, Paul Marion, UMass Lowell’s executive director of community and cultural affairs, who knew Tsongas, worked with the university’s Center for Lowell History, the National Park Service and others in the community who were friends and colleagues of the late senator. Local firms Higgins & Ross and DGI-Invisuals designed and built the exhibit.
Among those scheduled to attend the opening are Meehan, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, university representatives and members of the community.
WHERE: Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Lowell