* M E D I A A D V I S O R Y *
WHAT: UMass Lowell opens what may be its most exciting academic year yet this week, with record enrollment, new buildings and events welcoming the university community to the campus.
Recently ranked by the Chronicle of Higher Education as the fastest-growing public university of its kind in New England, UMass Lowell will reach 18,000 in total enrollment for the first time ever this fall. The university, which is the fifth fastest-growing public doctoral institution in the nation, has grown by more than 6,300 students over the last 10 years while also seeing average high-school GPAs and SAT scores of incoming students reach new highs.
UMass Lowell will welcome its largest-ever group of incoming students – more than 3,200 – at Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The event will feature activist Benjamin O’Keefe, the 23-year-old star of a MoveOn.org web series and contributor to MTV, The Huffington Post and Upworthy. O’Keefe, who founded his own production company, gained acclaim for launching a body-positive campaign that led youth-focused clothing retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch to carry plus-sizes.
The record number of students arrive at an auspicious time, as UMass Lowell launches new academic programs – including a bachelor’s degree in education – and expands its campus further to its 14th new property, the new River Hawk Village residential complex, advancing the university toward its goal of having 50 percent of students living on campus by 2020. Research has shown that students who live in university housing perform better academically and are more connected to their institution.
Following Convocation, UMass Lowell will hold an opening ceremony for the new River Hawk Village residential complex, which will be home to 780 upperclassmen this fall and has already proven to be the university’s most popular choice for campus housing.
For the first time, UMass Lowell’s University Suites – one of the other 14 new properties opened since 2009 – will be home entirely to Honors College students. The college will also see record participation this fall, with more than 1,600 students in total, 660 of whom are freshmen and new transfers. They move into Honors House at University Suites on Friday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon, when they will be available to talk about their goals and why they chose UMass Lowell.
Living-learning opportunities are not open just to honors students at UMass Lowell. Many of the more than 4,900 students who live in university housing will participate in living-learning communities, which offer those with common interests the chance to engage in academics and research where they live. All first-year students also participate in non-residential academic learning communities.
Academic programs include those within the Roy J. Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences and Susan and Alan Solomont School of Nursing, which were named over the summer for alumni and friends of the university who have made lasting commitments to the success of UMass Lowell students. This fall is also the first full semester in which students will take courses in the new Pulichino Tong Business Center, the state-of-the-art academic building opened in April to house the university’s Manning School of Business.
- Move-in day – University Suites, 327 Aiken St., Lowell
- Convocation – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell
- River Hawk Village opening – 39 Perkins St., Lowell
Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.