Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or Christine_Gillette@uml.edu
or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu
LOWELL, Mass. – One of the nation’s largest organizations of collegiate student affairs professionals recently presented its President of the Year Award to UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan, calling him “a leader with vision, ability and boundless energy who gets results.”
The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) honored Meehan during the organization’s annual conference and 100th anniversary celebration earlier this month. ACUI’s 3,250 professional members represent more than 520 colleges and universities. One of the oldest higher education organizations in the country, its mission is to support members in the development of community through education, advocacy and the delivery of services with a core purpose of advancing leaders in the field. Codes of ethics and values that include integrity, diversity, innovation and caring are also associated with the group’s mission.
Meehan was recognized by ACUI for factors including his “commitment to the student experience on campus,” including holding monthly open forums with students and reinforcing the importance of student involvement. ACUI also cited Meehan for his pledge to provide students the space they need for their programs, activities, services and more in a centralized location that will result in the opening of a new, $95 million student center this fall at University Crossing.
“He has demonstrated exceptional advocacy for the Division of Student Affairs,” ACUI stated in its announcement of the award, including providing more financial and staff resources for students and their organizations, as well as reintroducing fraternities and sororities on campus.
Since Meehan became chancellor in 2007, the number of student-run organizations at UMass Lowell has doubled to 200. The university has also seen remarkable growth in every other important measure, from a 45 percent increase in enrollment and the opening of eight new buildings to record numbers of graduates at the last six Commencement ceremonies and a three-year, 25-spot climb on U.S. News & World Report’s Best National Universities ranking that is the second-fastest in the nation. UMass Lowell also ranks among the top institutions in the nation for graduates’ return on investment and average salaries, and Forbes magazine named it 10th on its list of 25 “Best Value Colleges” in the U.S. UMass Lowell has raised record amounts for student scholarships, facilities and programs since 2007.
“It is truly an honor to be named 2014 President of the Year by ACUI, as I have tremendous respect for the high standards the organization has brought to the field of student affairs,” said Meehan. “This award is truly one to be shared with everyone at the university, and particularly our Division of Student Affairs, for their hard work to make the UMass Lowell experience a fulfilling one for our students.”
Also honored by ACUI was Brenda Evans, UMass Lowell’s dean of student affairs and event services. Evans received the organization’s Presidential Award for Distinguished Service. The award is given at the discretion of ACUI’s president and has not been presented in several years, according to the group. Evans was one of three student affairs professionals – and the only one from a university in the Northeast – honored by ACUI President Mark Guthier. She was recognized for her dedicated work to help restructure ACUI for its next 100 years.
“I am grateful for this recognition by ACUI and I must in turn recognize the team of volunteers from across the country who worked with me, as well as my co-chair and fellow honoree, Jeremy Schenk from Virginia Commonwealth University,” said Evans.
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 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. www.uml.edu