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‘Orange is the New Black’ Author to Speak

Free Event for Public, Campus is Latest in New Series with Bestselling Writers

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

LOWELL, Mass. – One of the most-talked-about authors in the nation will come to UMass Lowell’s new University Crossing on Sept. 30 to present the second installment in the new author series for the campus and public.

Piper Kerman, whose memoir “Orange is the New Black” inspired the hit Netflix series, will discuss her book and the experiences that led her to write it at a free event on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Moloney Hall, located on the second floor of UMass Lowell’s new student center at University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell. Following the talk, Kerman will sign copies of her book in the River Hawk Shop, the university’s new flagship bookstore, located on the first floor of the center.

Kerman’s memoir, based on her year in a Connecticut women’s prison, is a New York Times bestseller. The Netflix series based on the book has already been recognized as the AFI’s “TV Program of the Year” and has captured three Critics Choice Television Awards. The show is nominated for 12 Emmys including Outstanding Comedy Series and Lead Actress in a Comedy, as well as writing and directing honors.

“Fans of the ‘Orange is the New Black’ book or series or anyone interested in prison reform or social justice should benefit from the opportunity to hear from Piper Kerman,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We are excited to bring the campus community and the public together at University Crossing for events like this.”

University Crossing, located between the university’s North, South and East campuses, is a hub for student activities and services, as well as for programs and amenities for the campus and the public.

In addition to the River Hawk Shop, the new Crossroads Cafe at University Crossing will be open for events including the Kerman program. The 75-seat cafe features floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, comfortable seating and an outdoor patio and a menu that features pizza, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups and items that are ready to go. Starbucks coffee, tea and other signature beverages are available. The cafe is open to the campus community and the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays through Aug. 29 and then daily from 8 a.m. until at least 11 p.m.

Other programs planned for University Crossing to kick off the start of the new academic year include the first installment of the new author series featuring U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren discussing her book “A Fighting Chance” on Friday, Sept. 19 at noon. On Thursday, Sept. 4, candidates for the state House of Representatives’ 18th Middlesex District, which includes University Crossing and other portions of the UMass Lowell campus, will debate.

The grand opening of University Crossing is Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m. and the public is also welcome at that event.

The 230,000-square-foot University Crossing complex includes the $95 million, newly constructed student center as well as an adjacent existing building that has been extensively renovated and is now home to many university operations, including the UMass Lowell Police Department.

University Crossing is one of nine new buildings UMass Lowell has opened since 2009. The others include two residence halls, University Suites and Riverview Suites; two academic buildings, the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center and the Health and Social Sciences Building; the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell (formerly the Tsongas Arena); the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center (a former downtown hotel); and two parking garages.

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.