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UMass Lowell Names College of Sciences for Alumni

Renaming Recognizes Kennedy Family’s Commitment to Students, Campus

Kennedy College of Sciences naming ceremony

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney talks with John Kennedy '70 during the naming ceremony.


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LOWELL – UMass Lowell announced today that it has named its College of Sciences for alumni John and William Kennedy.

The naming of what is now officially known as the William J. and John F. Kennedy College of Sciences recognizes John Kennedy’s long record of philanthropy at UMass Lowell, including a major commitment to support the students, faculty and facilities of the College of Sciences. He and his older brother, William, who passed away in 1994, both graduated from programs in the College of Sciences.

“We are extremely proud to honor the Kennedy brothers, who credited the education they received here with changing the course of their lives,” UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney said at the official naming ceremony. “John’s gift will enable us to provide those same kinds of life-changing opportunities to science students for years to come.”

William Kennedy graduated from Lowell Technological Institute, one of UMass Lowell’s predecessor institutions, in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree in textile chemistry; John graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and later earned his Master of Science degree in accounting at UMass Amherst.

William rose to become a vice president of research and development at Velcro and John went on to a highly successful, 30-year career in the tech sector, retiring as the president and chief financial officer of Nova Analytics and Nova Technologies in 2007.

“I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education I received here and at Amherst,” John Kennedy told a group of several hundred science students and faculty who attended the ceremony. “If you’re going to change the world, you do it one person at a time, and education is the best way to do that.”

In addition to his support for the Kennedy College of Sciences, John Kennedy has endowed multiple scholarships at UMass Lowell, underwritten the university’s Nanotechnology Research and Development Center in his brother’s memory and funded the Kennedy Family Basketball Court at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.

The Kennedy College of Sciences traces its origins to the Lowell Textile School, which was founded by James T. Smith in 1895 to educate textile workers and explore new technologies.

Science and technology have grown to become pillars of the university, said Mark Hines, acting dean of the Kennedy College of Sciences, which today offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, environment, earth and atmospheric sciences, mathematics and physics and applied physics.

“These disciplines have grown to be major players in scientific research and education and are recognized worldwide,” Hines said.

In the past five years, UMass Lowell has named three academic buildings, one school and one of its colleges in honor of alumni benefactors and their family members in recognition of their commitment to the university. In addition to the Kennedy College of Sciences, the named buildings are the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, named in honor of alumnus Mark ’81, ’13 (H) and Elisia ’13 (H) Saab; Perry Hall, for alumnus Barry Perry ’68, ’15 (H) and his wife Janice; the Manning School of Business, for Robert Manning ’84 and ’11 (H) and Donna Manning ’85, ’91 and ’11 (H); and the forthcoming Pulichino Tong Business Building, which will open in 2017, for alumnus John Pulichino ’67, ’14 (H) and his wife, Joy Tong ’14 (H).  

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,500 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.