Monday, October 21, 2013    

Were your eyes glued to victorious Victorino in his grand slam that advanced the Red Sox to the World Series? And were you at the stand when the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs won, by one point, against Worcester State Lancers? Yeah!


Around the world today there are 633 million women who do not have basic education. Yet we know that educating girls and women is a key to stronger families and communities. Studies have shown that education makes girls more likely to marry later, to be employed, to have smaller and healthier families, and be less vulnerable to HIV, human trafficking, and other types of exploitation.


I am awed by the indomitable courage of 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani woman whose steadfast advocacy for girls' education has led to her being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. She was honored two weeks ago with human rights awards from Harvard University and from the European Parliament. So I was pleased when we enjoyed the opportunity to host more than 200 participants at the Women's Fund Leadership Breakfast on campus on October 11, moderated by Representative Pat Haddad and with myself, New Bedford School Superintendent Pia Durkin, and Our Sisters' School Head Sarah Herman as speakers. Will you commit to become a role model and mentor to help girls and young women lead lives of education, meaning, and prosperity?


While we had to cancel the public lecture on October 8 by Scott Tingle, NASA Astronaut and Mechanical Engineering magna cum laude alumnus, because of the federal government shutdown, we managed to have Scott join us and his friends from the Class of 1987 through Skype. An award-winning naval aviator and a guitar and motorcycle enthusiast, Scott regaled us with inspiring stories of his career, including a fascinating account of the rigorous screening and interview process he underwent. Thank you to Dean Bob Peck and Lara Stone for planning this joyous and animated alumni event!


I know you all relish, as I do, the cheerful sight of multicolored chrysanthemums - or mums for short - on campus, thanks to the work of Peter Duffy, Michael Hayes, Jeff Louro and their team. Do you know that the chrysanthemum, a revered flower in Japan, is the symbol of the Japanese monarchy - hence the name chrysanthemum throne?


What a flurry of activity has occurred the past week! Our UMassDTransform2020  stakeholder communication meetings with elected officials and legislators on Friday morning, and with the university community on Friday afternoon, generated vigorous and thoughtful discussions. It was emphasized that UMass Dartmouth serves the role as an anchor institution in this region and that we need to adapt to a changing higher education landscape with respect to our budget model, technology, delivery of education, and student financial aid. We are all indebted to Lori Benjamin and her team for organizing these meetings.


Were you able to attend our Fall Family Festival on Saturday? What a glorious day on campus with rock-climbing, line dancing, ceramic kiln firing, band music, and a cornucopia of small thrills and pleasures! It was fun seeing Associate Provost Tesfay Meressi with his four children, Lieutenant John Souza with his wife and three children, and many students accompanied by their families.


Kudos to Dean Adrian Tio, who was honored as Patron of the Arts by ArtWorks, and to Montgomery Charter Professor of Marine Science and former SMAST Dean Brian Rothschild whose stellar research has been transformative for the scallop industry and the fishing communities of the SouthCoast. Hats off to both of you!


Have a glorious fall week, everyone!

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth