Alumni and corporate leadership donors join in opening the new Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. Back row, from left: Frank McKone ’56, ’00 (H), Barry Perry ’68, William Hellmuth ’77 and Adrian King representing Gloucester Engineering, Mark Saab ’81, and L. Donald LaTorre ’59, ’07 (H). Front row, from left: Mark Boden representing Boston Scientific, Robert Ward ’71, Lawrence Acquarulo ’81, Elisia Saab, University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret, Chancellor Marty Meehan ’78, Paul Ferraro and Michael Del Checcolo representing Raytheon, and Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney ’75, ’92.
During the recent Celebration of Philanthropy held at UMass Lowell, University supporters, alumni and friends were abuzz with the excitement of new building/room openings, the University reaching record-breaking fundraising goals and the spirit of giving back. Over 1,050 attended the second annual series of events honoring the University’s most generous benefactors who have given $1,000 or more over the last fiscal year.
The themes of accessibility, giving back and supporting high-quality education were echoed again and again during the celebration, which took place Oct. 11-12.
When asked, many alumni participants and contributors to UMass Lowell cited similar reasons for giving, “UMass Lowell made college affordable and accessible to me. This University created so much opportunity for me in my life – it is now time to give back,” said Jeff Cosiol, retired principal director of projects at KlingStubbins, an architectural and engineering firm, and a 1967 alumnus of one of UMass Lowell’s predecessor institutions, Lowell Technological Institute.
During the Chancellor’s Society Dinner, Chancellor Marty Meehan pointed out how private giving is critical to the University, “We have to be entrepreneurial in our approach to ensuring the growth of UMass Lowell and private support is absolutely essential to that effort.”
The Celebration of Philanthropy launched with the grand opening of the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) on the North Campus and was followed by the Chancellor’s Leadership Society Dinner, which took place in a tent outside the newly-opened ETIC. The next day, the Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon brought together those who have endowed scholarships to meet their student scholarship recipients. The event was followed by an alumni reception and the River Hawk Hockey season home opener against the University of Vermont Catamounts.
At the beginning of the celebration, more than 500 UMass Lowell community members, public officials and industry leaders officially opened the ETIC, an 84,000-square-foot, $80 million research center and the first new academic building constructed on campus in more than three decades. During the grand opening ceremony, Chancellor Meehan thanked leadership donors who were being honored during the Celebration of Philanthropy and who have given over $7 million toward the ETIC.
Speakers at the event included Gov. Deval Patrick, UMass President Robert Caret, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, and Raytheon Vice President Michael Del Checcolo. See the full story
That evening, over 250 attended the Chancellor’s Leadership Society Dinner, recognizing Chancellor’s Leadership Society members (those who have given $1,000 or more to the University during the last year) and welcoming 53 individuals and couples to newly-created lifetime giving societies: the Circle of Distinction, the Circle of Prestige and the Circle of Honor.
The following day, the Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon brought together 300 individuals who have endowed scholarships and students who have received aid through those funds. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 1,150 students received over $900,000 in scholarships. Furthermore, in 2012, the University reached a milestone of over $54 million in endowment funds for student scholarships, professorships and academic program enhancements.
The event featured two student speakers who shared how the scholarships they received have impacted their lives: business student Ross Marchand and political science student Mary-Kathryn Hazel. According to Marchand, his family had been greatly affected by the ongoing recession. When his father was laid off from the construction industry, his aspiration of receiving a college education became uncertain. “Receiving a scholarship has given me the chance to attend and to remain at UMass Lowell student. It has lifted a financial burden from my family, and for that I am eternally grateful.” Hazel discussed the opportunities her UMass Lowell education and scholarship have made possible in her life including studying in Belfast Ireland, meeting students from all over the world, and even asking a question during the recent U.S. Senate Debate.
The Celebration of Philanthropy coalesced with the Hockey home opener at the Tsongas Center where the River Hawks competed against the University of Vermont Catamounts. Attendance was its highest draw for a home opener ever and the third largest in the team's history. The game resulted in a 1-1 deadlock.
“The Celebration of Philanthropy events were a great opportunity for our leadership donors to see the progress they are helping to make possible at UMass Lowell,” says Edward Chiu, vice chancellor of the Office of University Advancement. “Their support is changing lives. They were able to see the new facilities and to meet the students they are impacting. More importantly, this celebration is an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ for all they have done.”
See photo galleries from Celebration of Philanthropy and Fall Festival Events