“We will do remarkable things together—we will change lives and leave a legacy we can be proud of.”
With those words, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney ’75, ’92 officially kicked off Our Legacy, Our Place
, UMass Lowell’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising and alumni engagement campaign.
The $125 million campaign, which will run until 2020, focuses on significantly increasing student scholarships and supporting faculty recruitment and research, campus improvements and the Division I athletics program. Those priorities grow out of the university’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which outlines the ways in which UMass Lowell will become one of the country’s leading public research universities.
The campaign has already raised $78.5 million from early donors, Moloney announced at a Campaign Kickoff Gala, including a new $1 million gift from Campaign Chair Robert Manning ’84, ’11 (H), who is also a UMass trustee.
“I have never found a better investment than UMass Lowell,” said Trustee Manning, chairman and co-CEO of MFS Investment Management. His gift will create an endowment within the School of Nursing and will honor his wife, Donna ’85, ’91, ’11 (H), an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center.
Vice Chancellor for Advancement John Feudo said this fundraising effort “will provide support for those who make us great—our outstanding students and our amazing faculty.”
Moloney singled out the importance of addressing student loan debt, which she noted is “one of the major economic challenges of our time.”
Two decades ago, 70 percent of the university’s budget was supported by the state; today, that figures stands at 21 percent, shifting more education costs directly onto students.
“Our Legacy, Our Place is our chance to change that,” Moloney said. “I am making a commitment that we will decrease the average level of student debt at UMass Lowell during this campaign. Together, we can ensure that the high-quality education we offer tomorrow’s leaders is also an affordable one.”
The gala also featured the University Alumni Awards, honoring eight graduates, including William Rhodes ’82, a senior manager at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, N.M., where he focuses on national security issues.
“I came here with few resources, and left with fully developed principles, values and academic abilities to succeed,” Rhodes told the audience. “I owe whatever success I’ve had to UMass Lowell.”
In addition to Rhodes, the following alumni were presented with University Alumni Awards: Ciana Abdollahian ’09, a customer programs manager at Zerto, a Boston high-tech company; Stephen Driscoll ’66, ’72, a Department of Plastics Engineering faculty member since 1968; Edward Gallagher ’84, senior vice president and general manager of sales for Comcast’s Northeast Division; Amy Hoey ’88, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health; Kazeem “Dayo” Ibraheem ’02, a longtime volunteer coach with the UMass Lowell track and field team; Patrick Kaplo ’04, an award-winning physics teacher at Windham (N.H.) High School; and Paul Marion ’76, ’05, who recently retired as UMass Lowell’s executive director of community relations.