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Celebration of Philanthropy Honors Top Donors

Alums, Benefactors Give Back to Students, Facilities

Lawrence Acquarulo ’81 meets with student recipients of the Acquarulo Family Endowed Scholarship Fund and other endowed funds at the Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon.
Lawrence Acquarulo ’81 meets with student recipients of the Acquarulo Family Endowed Scholarship Fund and other endowed funds at the Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon.

By Nichole Carter

During the recent Celebration of Philanthropy, supporters, alumni and friends were abuzz with the excitement of new facilities, record-breaking fundraising and the spirit of giving back. More than 1,050 attended the second annual series of events honoring the University’s most generous benefactors who have given $1,000 or more over the last fiscal year.

The themes of accessibility, giving back and supporting high-quality education were echoed again and again during the celebration, which took place Oct. 11-12.

“UMass Lowell made college affordable and accessible to me,” said Jeff Cosiol, retired principal director of projects at KlingStubbins, an architectural and engineering firm, and a 1967 alumnus of one of UMass Lowell’s predecessor institutions, Lowell Technological Institute. “This University created so much opportunity for me in my life – it is now time to give back.”

During the Chancellor’s Society Dinner, Chancellor Marty Meehan pointed out how private giving is critical to the University, “We have to be entrepreneurial in our approach to ensuring the growth of UMass Lowell and private support is absolutely essential to that effort.”

ETIC Opening Launches Weekend

The Celebration of Philanthropy launched with the grand opening of the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC) on North Campus. More than 500 UMass Lowell community members, public officials and industry leaders officially opened the ETIC, an 84,000-square-foot, $80 million research center and the first new academic building constructed on campus in more than three decades.  During the ceremony, Chancellor Meehan thanked leadership donors who were being honored during the Celebration of Philanthropy and who have given over $7 million toward the ETIC. 

That evening, more than 250 attended the Chancellor’s Leadership Society Dinner, recognizing those who have given $1,000 or more to the University during the last year and welcoming 53 individuals and couples to newly created lifetime giving societies: the Circle of Distinction, the Circle of Prestige and the Circle of Honor.

Students, Benefactors Connect

Continuing the theme of giving back, the Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon brought together 300 individuals who have endowed scholarships and students who have received aid through those funds.  During the 2011-12 academic year, 1,150 students received over $900,000 in scholarships. Furthermore, in 2012, the University reached a milestone of over $54 million in endowment funds for student scholarships, professorships and academic program enhancements. 

The event featured two student speakers who have benefited from scholarships: business student Ross Marchand and Mary-Kathryn Hazel , a history major with a political science minor. 

“Receiving a scholarship has given me the chance to attend and to remain at UMass Lowell student,” said Marchand, whose father was laid off from his job in the construction industry. “It has lifted a financial burden from my family, and for that I am eternally grateful.” 

Hazel discussed the opportunities her UMass Lowell education and scholarship have made possible in her life including studying in Belfast, Ireland, meeting students from all over the world, and even asking a question during the recent U.S. Senate Debate.

The Celebration of Philanthropy culminated with the hockey home opener at the Tsongas Center where the River Hawks skated to a 1-1 overtime tie against the University of Vermont Catamounts. Attendance was its highest draw for a home opener ever and the third largest in the team's history.

 “The Celebration of Philanthropy events were a great opportunity for our leadership donors to see the progress they are helping to make possible at UMass Lowell,” says Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ed Chiu. “Their support is changing lives. They were able to see the new facilities and to meet the students they are impacting. More importantly, this celebration is an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ for all they have done.”