UMass Lowell Alumnus Endows Student ACM Chapter

08/01/2007


Lowellߞ;An alumnus of the University of Massachusetts Lowell has permanently endowed the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) with a $10,000 donation and challenge grant for the same amount. Several computer science students are reviving the chapter, which was defunct for about five years. This is the first ACM chapter to have an endowment.

The endowment could reach as much as $75,000. David E. Shulman ’85, M’87, formerly of Peabody, donated $10,000, which was matched by his company, Microsoft. If the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to match donations to state colleges, the gift could jump to $30,000. Shulman also gave a challenge grant stipulating that he will match dollar for dollar raised by the students up to $10,000, and with the potential matches, the endowment could reach over $75,000 total. The students already have a $1,000 donation from EMC Corporation.

"The students wanted to get things started in a fresh, bold way and really wanted to have a real top of the line chapter," Shulman said. "They have the drive and ambition to make things succeed. I said, ‘maybe I can kick start the program.’"

The chapter has big plans for the coming year including a Fall Kick-Off Party, several industry speakers, a visit to a local high school, tours of local companies, and of course, fund raising. As the chapter grows, Shulman hopes it will play a key role in the departmental speaker series he sponsors. But first, they need to set up a space for the club equipped with computers and a library.

Many of the students currently belonging to the chapter won’t see the money they are raising put to use since they figure it will take most of the year to reach the $10,000 goal. But they feel it is completely worth it knowing that the chapter will have the funds to exist as long as there is student interest. Perhaps even more important is the contribution to their own education.

"What we’re learning is invaluable stuff. The bottom line is who you know. You can’t put a price on that," said senior Jim McCarthy.


The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a major force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students. ACM serves its global membership by delivering cutting-edge technical information and transferring ideas from theory to practice. ACM, with its world-class journals and magazines, dynamic special interest groups, and numerous conferences, workshops, and electronic forums, is a primary resource to the information technology field. For additional information about ACM, visit http://www.acm.org .


The University of Massachusetts Lowell Computer Science Department offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral accredited programs. Combining both the applied and the theoretical aspects of computation, UMass Lowell Computer Science graduates are highly sought after from regional and international companies including Avici Systems, Cisco Systems, and Compaq. The department boasts more than 1,500 alumni, most of them working in Massachusetts.