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Vibrant UMass Lowell Campus Opens for Fall Semester

New Residence Halls, Programs Await Class of 2017 and Returning Students

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Riverview Suites will be one of two new residence halls awaiting students when they arrive for the Fall 2013 semester.


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

LOWELL, Mass. – Two new residence halls and dynamic programs that foster leadership and community will welcome the Class of 2017 and returning students to UMass Lowell’s transforming campus as they move in for the semester beginning on Friday, Aug. 30. 

From festivities that jumpstart the River Hawks’ NCAA Division I athletic competition to a session with apparel entrepreneur “Johnny Cupcakes” – named one of Businessweek’s “Best Entrepreneurs 25 and Under” – students will enjoy an array of activities that will introduce them to each other and facets of university life. 

Nearly 1,000 students will live in University Suites and Riverview Suites, UMass Lowell’s fifth and sixth new buildings to open in the past year. Both buildings provide a host of amenities that enhance residents’ everyday life. On East Campus, the 148,000-square-foot University Suites includes 88 four- and six-bed suites, study areas, an outdoor courtyard and a café open to the public. Just off South Campus, the 172,200-square-foot Riverview Suites features 110 two- and three-bedroom apartment-suites that include full kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. 

On Friday, Aug. 30, students who will live in living-learning communities will begin moving into residence halls. Located throughout university housing, these communities enable students with similar interests and goals to live together to forge common bonds and participate in programming that builds on their educational experience. 

Senior Jimmy Ortiz, a psychology major from Lawrence will serve as a resident adviser to a living-learning community at Riverview Suites. “I’m completely in love with the whole building. It caters to more programming and community-building opportunities. It’s amazing,” he said.

Opening Week events include: 
  • ‘Johnny Cupcakes’ Stirs Students’ Imagination – Johnny Earle, better known as “Johnny Cupcakes,” will serve up the winning recipe behind his hip, worldwide apparel and accessories brand to students, staff and faculty at the launch of UMass Lowell’s 2013 DifferenceMaker program. Earle started the company in 2001, selling T-shirts out of his car trunk. Founded just a year ago, DifferenceMakers has already awarded $25,000 in seed money to student teams using fresh ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit to answer contemporary business and social challenges. One venture was recently featured at Mass Innovation Nights, which highlights entrepreneurs. Sunday, Sept. 1, 2 p.m., Campus Recreation Center, East Campus, 100 Pawtucket St., Lowell. 
  • River Hawks Soar into America East Era – UMass Lowell kicks off a new era of athletic excellence as a member of the Division I America East Conference with the 2013 field hockey home-opener against the Wildcats of Northwestern. Before the game, the name of the spectacular new blue field and the winner of the “Name the Turf” Contest will be announced. The playing surface is the centerpiece of the renovated Cushing Field Complex, which has been updated for Division I standards, including new turf for the soccer/lacrosse field, LED scoreboards and drainage and irrigation systems. Monday, Sept. 2, 2 p.m., North Campus, Cushing Field Complex, 275 Riverside St., Lowell.  
  • Convocation Starts Student Legacies – Chancellor Marty Meehan, faculty and staff will officially welcome students and open the academic year with the theme “Create your legacy. Make a difference.” Political and social activist Waneek Horn-Miller, who hails from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, will deliver the keynote address. A former Olympian, Horn-Miller will share her life and work with students, urging them to celebrate their heritage while cultivating their potential as community leaders. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m., Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell.  

  • These programs and more reflect UMass Lowell’s vibrant campus life, which is being chosen by an increasing number of students. Nearly half – approximately 4,000 – of all undergraduates will live in university housing this fall and 2,750 new first-year and transfer students will attend UMass Lowell this year, up from 2,614 last year, and representing more than 50 nations around the world. Those students also bring increased academic qualifications, with a freshman class that boasts increases in an average SAT score (up 63 points since 2007 to 1137) and average high school GPA (3.36, up from 3.29 just a year ago), as well as 270 new members of UMass Lowell’s Commonwealth Honors Program. 

UMass Lowell is attracting more students as its national reputation for excellence and value is growing. The university was recently named as one of Forbes’ top 25 Best Value Colleges 2013, one of only two New England institutions to make the list, and was called “the most underrated college in the nation” by As one of only 75 public and private institutions in the U.S. that provides students with a return on investment of more than $1 million, UMass Lowell ranks in the top 1 percent of all public universities when it comes to the comparison of graduates’ earnings versus the cost of their education, according to and Affordable Colleges Online. UMass Lowell, which is ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in success in graduating students who face financial challenges, is seeing more students earn degrees than ever, with six consecutive years of record numbers of graduates.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, 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.