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Booming UMass Lowell Campus Ready for New Academic Year

Class of 2016, Returning Students to Enjoy New Amenities, Programs


Media contacts: 
Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or
Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – When the UMass Lowell Class of 2016 moves in on Saturday, Sept. 1, students will be greeted with expanded dining options, new academic programs and facility upgrades that showcase vibrant campus life. 

For the fourth consecutive year, enrollment is up 10 percent at UMass Lowell, with increases in the numbers of new students as well as those continuing their education. Joining UMass Lowell’s student body – which now represents 53 countries around the world – are approximately 1,500 first-year students and 1,130 transfers. This year’s freshmen, 83 percent of whom will live on campus, have an average SAT score of 1127, an increase of 53 points over six years. Eighty percent of UMass Lowell freshmen continue on to their sophomore year.
Convocation will open the academic year on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. when Chancellor Marty Meehan, faculty and staff introduce new students to campus. Sharing with students the importance of community service will be speaker Robert Egger, the founder and president of DC Central Kitchen in Washington, which runs a variety of programs, including culinary arts training for unemployed men and women using food donated by hospitality businesses and farms, and through its Campus Kitchens Project, empowers 5,000 student volunteers to replicate the model around the country. Convocation will be held at the Campus Recreation Center, East Campus, 100 Pawtucket St., Lowell.

Other key events for the semester’s start include:
  • Freshman Move-In Day – Saturday, Sept. 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., residence halls across campus.  
  • DifferenceMaker Program – Guest speaker Arel Moodie, author of the best-selling “Your Starting Point for Student Success” will launch this new program that encourages students to become creative problem-solvers and celebrates their entrepreneurial efforts, along with those of UMass Lowell faculty and alumni, and acknowledges the positive difference this work is making in the community. Moodie, a successful businessman and motivational speaker in his 20s, grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, N.Y. — an environment he says pushed him to excel in college, build a better future and uplift others. Sunday, Sept. 2, 3 p.m., Campus Recreation Center, East Campus, 100 Pawtucket St., Lowell.
  • River Hawks on the Roof – A barbecue, giveaways and music get the party started as students meet and mingle with athletes from UMass Lowell’s sports teams. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 5 p.m., East Parking Garage, East Campus, Pawtucket Street, Lowell.
  • MEISA Southfest – The UMass Lowell community will enjoy live bands outdoors during this campus festival hosted by the university’s Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association. Saturday, Sept. 15, 3 to 9 p.m., South Campus Quadrangle, South Campus, 71 Wilder St., Lowell
Students returning to UMass Lowell or experiencing it for the first time will benefit from dozens of university projects designed to enhance their lives, including 20 new majors and other academic options at the undergraduate and graduate level. 

Enhanced meal options at a variety of locations on campus will have an immediate impact on student life. At the newly remodeled University Dining Commons in Fox Hall on East Campus, the redesigned dining area features an all-new approach to campus dining with exposition-style cooking stations, a brick pizza oven, an in-house bakery and a wide variety of made-to-order foods. A new after-hours café with fireplace, large-screen TV and comfortable seating will provide students a place to snack and socialize. 

On North Campus, students and the public can enjoy a new Einstein Bros Bagel shop in the lobby of Olney Hall. The franchise will join Starbucks, Subway and Taco Bell on campus, as UMass Lowell surveys overwhelmingly show students want more name-brand dining options. The new “Fill the Fridge” program allows family members and friends to stock students up on pre-paid groceries and household supplies.

At the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, which houses more than 400 students, the new Rowdy Zone will offer student dining with a sports-grill theme and pub-style menu. On South Campus, the Hawk’s Nest offers gourmet burgers, salads, hot wings and more, seven days a week, lunch to late nights.

In addition to those new options, students, faculty, staff and visitors will have expanded parking with the opening of the North Campus Parking Garage. Located off Riverside Street in Lowell, it will offer 550 new parking spaces as well as freeing up additional spaces in the adjacent surface lot.

The university’s new 84,000-square-foot Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) is slated to open in October. An $80 million state-of-the-art facility, the ETIC will be home to research and industry collaboration in cutting-edge fields including nanotechnology, plastics engineering, biomedicine and electro-optics. The ETIC, the first new academic building constructed from the ground up on campus in three decades, is located at the intersection of University Avenue and Route 113, overlooking the Merrimack River.

UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.