Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, June 9, 2014    

Cicero wrote, "History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time, it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity." Yesterday on the 350th anniversary of the town of Dartmouth, I joined community leaders in a historic celebration at Apponagansett Park. The incorporation of Dartmouth on June 8, 1664 was highlighted through a land sale reenactment, lighting of candles on a 350th birthday cake, and a spectacular fireworks display. Take note of the slide show portraying historical landmarks in Dartmouth; our UMassD undergraduate students in History, under the direction of Professor Christina Mehrtens and local historians, researched each landmark and narrated the episodes themselves (click here). 

 

Have you seen the stunning purple allium "Lucy Ball" flowers on the passageway roof between the Foster Building and the Campus Center and the striking pink rhododendron bushes flanking the marquee at our campus entrance? There were early glimpses of the summer solstice this past weekend with bright blue skies and warm balmy days, ideal for roaming on nature trails through pine and oak woodlands, paddling down the river in a canoe, or perhaps just indulging in a relaxing nap on your porch after reading a few pages of a favorite book.

 

"A man of learning, a man of God" was how I described Rev. Dr. Robert Lawrence at the dedication of the Rev. Dr. Robert Lawrence Hall at Woodland Commons, extolling his life of service and his civic and spiritual leadership. The $1.14 million gift bestowed in his honor will enable us to continue in perpetuity the Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit and the Lawrence Service Learning Fellows Program. In attendance at the joyous event were Rev. Lawrence's wife Elizabeth Duffy, many of our benefactors including Robert Leduc and Claire T. Carney, Chancellor Emeritus Jean MacCormack, UMass Boston's Vice Chancellor Ed Lambert, and Fall River's Mayor William Flanagan and Police Chief Daniel Racine.

 

Congratulations to Prof. Sigal Gottlieb and her graduate students Zachary Grant and Daniel Higgs for their paper "Optimal Explicit Strong Stability Preserving Runge-Kutta Methods with High Linear Order and Optimal Nonlinear Order" that was accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of the journal Mathematics of Computation!

 

Kudos to freshman student Chris Cennami who won the 2014 Little East Conference (LEC) Men's Rookie Track Athlete of the Year! Hats off as well to Steve Gardiner, who was selected as the LEC's Men's Coach of the Year!

 

Did you read the Boston Globe article on June 5 titled "Student leaves 'Dream Scholarship' at UMass Dartmouth? The story chronicled how our stellar alumnus Josh Encarnacion and his peers mobilized donors to establish an endowed "Dream Scholarship Class of 2014" for the benefit of future students. What an inspiration to us all (click here)!

 

Last Friday, we conducted the first meeting of the new Chancellor's Advisory Council. Seven of the ten members were able to travel to the campus to attend the meeting:  Dean Cassell, retired CEO of the Acushnet Co., Dunlop Sports Inc., Merrill Lynch Realty Inc., and Fine Homes International Inc.; Jeff Conway, Executive Vice President of State Street Global Exchange; James French, President for R&D of Panasonic North America; Richard LaFrance, President of LaFrance Hospitality Co.; Thomas Lambalot, former Chief Commercial Officer of Paratek Microwave; Diane Souza, former CEO of United Healthcare Specialty Benefits Inc.; and Richard Wecker, former Board Chair and past President of Limra International. The three other Council members are Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Inc.; William Hayden, Managing Director for Public Financing, PNC Financial Services; and John Galiher, CEO of Preferred Freezer Inc. A hearty discussion transpired about critical opportunities and challenges facing UMass Dartmouth as we move toward implementation of UMassDTransform2020.

 

Let us pause for a moment of silence to reflect on the life of Dr. Richard Gross, a devoted doctor and caring community leader who passed away on May 23.  When he was President of the Pilgrim Foundation, UMassD's College of Nursing received a generous philanthropic gift that established the Pilgrim Scholars Program. I had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Gross and his wife Robin at dinner with other UMassD supporters just a month ago and conveyed to him our gratitude for the impact of the Pilgrim donation and his humanitarian work.

 

Have a good week, everyone,
Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth