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U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Keynote Inauguration of Chancellor Marty Meehan


LOWELL ߝ U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be the keynote speaker at the inauguration of UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan on Friday, April 4 at 10 a.m. at UMass Lowell’s Campus Recreation Center. Gov. Deval Patrick will be the featured speaker at the ceremony.

Pelosi, D-Calif., is the first woman to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. As the highest-ranking elected woman in American history, she is second in the line of presidential succession. Pelosi’s career in Congress includes authoring legislation to create the independent 9/11 Commission, leading congressional reviews of U.S. intelligence and security agencies, winning increased funding for breast cancer research, supporting the fight against AIDS and pushing for bipartisan efforts for international human rights.

Among the others scheduled to speak are UMass President Jack Wilson; UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning, a UMass Lowell alumnus; state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos of Lowell; and David Sargent, president of Suffolk University, where Meehan, who earned his undergraduate degree at UMass Lowell, completed his master’s and law degrees. A host of other national, state and local dignitaries are expected to attend the ceremony.

The ceremony caps a week of activities surrounding the inauguration that are designed to educate and inspire. The inauguration, with the theme of “Building a New Vision Together: Excellence Through Innovation,” is expected to raise significant funds for student scholarships. An outpouring of support has come from the community, led by Charles Hoff ’66, who contributed $50,000 to be the Chancellor’s Inauguration Sponsor.

Signature events ߝ open to students, faculty, staff and the public ߝ planned for the week of Monday, March 31 through Friday, April 4 include:

  • “A Vision for Addressing Climate Change” ߝ A panel of decision-makers and industry leaders ߝ including Chancellor Meehan, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles and WBZ-TV meteorologist Mish Michaels ߝ will discuss their views of the challenges and best approaches for addressing climate change for the region and nation. Monday, March 31, 9:30 a.m., Cumnock Hall
  • “Achieving Excellence Through Partnerships” ߝ This program will look at UMass Lowell’s internationally recognized partnerships and examine some of the work by faculty, staff and students with communities, businesses, health care providers and educators to solve problems and advance research. Participants include Sen. Panagiotakos; Winfield Brown, Lowell General Hospital vice president for administration; and Michael McGee, Nypro Inc.’s director of technology. Tuesday, April 1, 7:30 a.m., Wannalancit Conference Center
  • “Innovation for the Next Generation” ߝ Featuring top entrepreneurs ߝ including alumni who have parlayed their UMass Lowell education into business success ߝ this program looks at how research in science and technology comes together with business expertise to bring products from idea to market. Keynote speaker for the event is Sycamore Networks Chairman and Co-Founder Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande; other participants include UMass Lowell alums Michael Olivieri, publisher of the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech; Joseph Vaillancourt, managing director of organic growth for Waste Management; and Kenneth Steinberg, CEO and founder of Savant Protection. Wednesday, April 2, 1 p.m., Alumni Hall
  • M. Virginia Biggy Lecture Featuring Jonathan Kozol ߝ Best known for his work promoting the rights of children and championing equal access for all to high-quality public education, Kozol is the author of “Savage Inequalities,” “The Shame of the Nation” and “Death at an Early Age.”  Wednesday, April 2, 4 p.m., O’Leary Library
  • “Re-Envisioning Local, National and Global Security as if Women Mattered” ߝ The Center for Women and Work marks its 10th annual Gathering at the Well, an event that brings people together to examine important national issues for women. Clark University Prof. Cynthia Enloe, political scientist and author, will speak and UMass Lowell faculty will share research around the theme of security. Thursday, April 3, 9 a.m., Alumni Hall
  • “A New Vision for Peace: Creative Strategies for Responding to Gang Violence” ߝ Linda Biehl, world-renowned peace and reconciliation expert who has worked with youth gangs in South Africa, headlines UMass Lowell’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute and faculty members’ look at how conflict resolution and violence prevention requires the involvement of diverse groups. Thursday, April 3, 1 p.m., O’Leary Library

All of the programs will be presented on the UMass Lowell campus. In addition to the signature events, programs being held throughout the week include exhibits of items from Meehan’s time in Congress as well as work by UMass Lowell students, a discussion of adolescents and autism, a look at how UMass Lowell research is shaping the future of Massachusetts, an open house at the Tsongas Industrial History Center and a concert for students and the public by the internationally known band Gym Class Heroes. Two benefits, a concert and inaugural gala, are being held on Thursday, April 3, as well, to raise funds for student scholarships.

INAUGURATION WEEK:  For details and a complete listing of inauguration week events, check out

MEDIA CREDENTIALS: Members of the media who wish to cover the inauguration ceremony are asked to contact the Office of Public Affairs at 978-934-3224 prior to April 4. Please provide the number of reporters, photographers or videographers who will attend and state any electronic or other coverage needs.

UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region.. UML offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224