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Chancellor Meehan is Speaker at NECC's 50th Commencement

UMass Lowell is Popular Next Step for Community College Graduates

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UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan

By Christine Gillette

Chancellor Marty Meehan is the speaker at Northern Essex Community College’s 50th Commencement exercises.

Northern Essex, which holds Commencement on its Haverhill campus, invited Meehan to address the nearly 1,300 members of the Class of 2012 at the May 19 event. UMass Lowell is the top transfer option for Northern Essex students who complete associate’s degrees at the college and wish to go on to a four-year institution for a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

“As a congressman, Marty Meehan was a passionate and highly effective advocate for higher education in general and Northern Essex in particular. As chancellor of UMass Lowell, he has been our higher education partner in the Merrimack Valley,” says Northern Essex Community College (NECC) President Lane Glenn. “We are very pleased he has accepted our invitation to address our 2012 graduates and their families.”

“It will be an honor to address Northern Essex Community College’s Class of 2012. Many of the college’s alumni have gone on to attend UMass Lowell with great success in the classroom and beyond. We expect that will also be the case for many of this year’s graduates,” says Meehan. “The strong relationship between our campuses helps make the transition from community college to four-year university a smooth one for students and is just one example of the strength of a public higher education in Massachusetts.”

More than 770 students transferred to UMass Lowell from Massachusetts public community colleges last year alone. Community college transfer students have a solid track record of academic success at UMass Lowell: 78 percent continue after their first year and 70 percent graduate within four years.

In addition to Meehan, NECC’s Class of 2012 speakers include student Cecilly Deorocki of Merrimac, a liberal arts major graduating with a 3.98 grade-point average who plans to attend a four-year institution to study psychology or philosophy. The ceremony also includes the awarding of emeritus status to NECC retirees including David Hartleb, who previously served as the college’s president.