Skip to Main Content

UMass Lowell Names First-ever Alumni Center in Honor of Alumnus

New Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center Located in Mill Complex

Charles J. Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center at 1 Perkins St., Lowell
The Charles J. Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center at 1 Perkins St., Lowell

By Nichole Carter

UMass Lowell announced that its new alumni center has been named in tribute to distinguished alumnus Charles J. Hoff ’66, ’04 (H). The center is located in the newly renovated administration building of the former Lawrence Manufacturing Co. at 1 Perkins St., Lowell. 

The naming recognizes Hoff’s leadership as the chair of UMass Lowell’s first-ever major comprehensive fundraising campaign, as well as his generous legacy of giving to the University. This includes a recent major commitment, in addition to his steadfast support of the Charles J. Hoff Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to students across the entire University of Massachusetts system. The program is the largest privately initiated scholarship program in UMass history. 

The new Charles J. Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center offers room for meetings and receptions for alumni and campus events, and is equipped with modern audio-visual technology. Located along the Merrimack River, it also includes outdoor space for events and activities. The center houses Office of University Advancement operations including advancement administration, alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations and major gifts.  

The Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center opened in January 2014. The $2 million renovation is a showpiece for the dramatic expansion of the UMass Lowell campus and is located in what was known as the “countinghouse” at the Lawrence Manufacturing Co.  While the property was ravaged by fire in 1987, the countinghouse was not damaged. Built in 1877, it is an historic landmark built in High Victorian Gothic style. The building sits across the canal from the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue.

“It is a fitting tribute that UMass Lowell’s first-ever alumni center is named in honor of such a committed alumnus,” says Chancellor Marty Meehan. “Charlie’s dedication makes a powerful impact on the students of UMass Lowell and the entire University of Massachusetts system. His leadership, coupled with his scholarship support, ensures a high-quality education for thousands of students. He takes great personal interest in each Hoff scholar and provides an excellent example of business leadership and philanthropy to students.”

“The Charles J. Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center offers our alumni and friends an opportunity to visit campus and have a place to call home,” says Edward Chiu, vice chancellor for University Advancement, “Charlie’s support has helped to propel this University forward, just as this new center, dedicated to the services and engagement of our alumni community, will do for this University.” 

Today, Hoff manages Hoff Family Associates, which makes equity investments in growing companies around New England and in local real-estate projects. He is also chairman of the Hoff Foundation, which supports charitable organizations and education. 

He has been a senior vice president of operations for Bausch & Lomb and held senior management positions with Wang Laboratories, Polaroid and Gillette. From 1983 to 1986, he was president, CEO and owner of ARL Analytical Instruments Co., which generated more than $100 million in worldwide sales. He then became owner, chairman and CEO of Universal/Univis, Inc., a group of designer eyewear companies.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Lowell Tech, Hoff earned
a master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University. He is a native of Medford. He and his wife now reside in York, Maine, and Bonita Springs, Fla.

UMass Lowell is continuing its rapid rise to national and international prominence by focusing on key institutional priorities.  Driven by a commitment to students above all, the University is transforming its academic, student life and athletics programs, along with its physical campus, as part of its multi-year strategic plan. Robust alumni engagement, philanthropy, student and faculty support, industry relevance and community involvement all are UMass Lowell’s tools to build and sustain excellence.