By Sarah Favot
LOWELL -- UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan is being recognized for his efforts toward raising private funds for the university and moving the school forward.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education District 1, the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada chapter, will honor Meehan on Monday at its annual meeting with the Chief Executive Leadership Award, which honors institutional leaders for outstanding contributions to their campus communities, for efforts promoting public education and for support of advancement.
Since Meehan became chancellor in 2007, the university has raised $61 million privately, up more than 84 percent. The public university has also received about 90 new endowments.
The university raised a record $15.2 million last year and is on track to beat that record this year, according to Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Edward Chiu.
Meehan said the award recognizes the work the entire leadership team at the university has committed to student achievement and advancement at the university.
"The award reflects a recognition of the entire leadership team," Meehan said in an interview. "It's nice to see that our work at UMass Lowell is being recognized nationally."
Meehan said that in the last 30 years, as the state has cut funding to the public university, the cost of attending the school has shifted onto the students. Raising private funds helps fund student scholarships, rewarding merit-based achievement and ensuring students who qualify to attend the university are not prevented to attend because of financial barriers.
"We have to make sure that that we have scholarships so UMass Lowell is available to all students from all backgrounds," he said.
Chiu, who nominated Meehan for the award, said the increase in donations to the school demonstrates that alumni support Meehan's vision for the university.
"I think it also shows that our alumni and our donors are willing to support the vision that has been set forth and they believe in the vision and our strategic plan," he said.