University Reaches $150M Mark in Campaign for Scholarships, Research, Athletics

125th anniversary logo in lights


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LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell officially celebrated its 125th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 17 with a gala event and the announcement that it has raised more than $150 million through its “Our Legacy, Our Place” campaign, $25 million more than the original goal.

The anniversary celebration is among the largest being held throughout the academic year to celebrate UMass Lowell’s 125-year history, which dates back to the founding of Lowell Normal School and Lowell Textile School, each formed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city during the American Industrial Revolution. Now a single institution, the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s mission to serve students, the community and the region’s employers has not changed, but its approach to meeting that mission has evolved to keep ahead of the curve. See more about UMass Lowell’s history, including an interactive timeline at

Since 1894, UMass Lowell has grown to more than 18,000 students who learn and live in more than 4.8 million square feet of academic, research and residential space across three campuses on either side of the Merrimack River. The fastest-growing public research university in New England according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, UMass Lowell is ranked No. 1 in Massachusetts for sustainability by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. UMass Lowell is also nationally ranked for the quality of its academic programs, both online and on campus, along with graduates’ return on their investment.

To achieve all of this, UMass Lowell has taken an entrepreneurial approach, including launching “Our Legacy, Our Place” – the university’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising and alumni engagement campaign – three years ago with the ambitious goal of raising $125 million in time for the 125th anniversary. Eighteen months early, UMass Lowell reached that goal, so the bar was raised: $150 million by June 2020.

At the 125th anniversary celebration, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney ’75, ’92 announced that UMass Lowell has met its $150 million goal, with more than 32,000 donations that will go to student scholarships, academic and research resources, and Division I athletics, as well as other priorities established in the university’s strategic plan.

125th anniversary celebration Image by Tory Wesnofske
Chancellor Jacquie Moloney speaks to the more than 400 people who attended the 125th anniversary celebration gala at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center.
“On this historic night, I am so proud to announce that, thanks to the people in this room and many others who couldn’t be here tonight, we have already raised more than $150 million in this campaign, surpassing our goal for the second time. All of you who have supported this campaign and this university will always be part of part of our legacy,” said Moloney, pledging to continue the efforts to raise funds for the campaign through June 2020.

Two $125,000 gifts from some of the university’s most ardent supporters pushed the campaign over the $150 million mark. The donation by campaign chairman John Pulichino ’67, ’84 (H) and his wife Joy Tong will go to the Manning School of Business and the Joy Tong Women in Business initiative. The gift from Lowell philanthropist Nancy Donahue will fund the new Donahue Fellow in Sustainability designation for faculty to support research excellence with a focus on university-city partnerships.

Moloney made the announcements before more than 400 people – UMass Lowell alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends – at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. Speakers also included UMass President Marty Meehan ’78 and UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning ’84, ’11 (H).

“I grew up in this city, so I’ve had a front-row seat to watch how this university has grown over the years and to understand what it has meant to generations of Lowell residents. As chancellor, I had the honor to be part of that growth, and to work with a university community that was second to none,” said Meehan. “UMass Lowell is what it is today in no small part because of our alumni, because of their generosity and because of the impact they are having in the world.”

Eight of UMass Lowell’s notable graduates, each representing one of UMass Lowell’s schools and colleges, were presented with University Alumni Awards at the event in recognition of their professional success and support of the campus and community.

The award winners are:

  • College of Education – Joan Marchessault ’00 of New Castle, N.H., and Naples, Fla., principal and co-founder of Strategic Leadership Group;
  • College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Edward Adler ’53 of Westchester County, N.Y., artist, educator, author and authority on the Beat Generation, including Jack Kerouac;
  • Francis College of Engineering – Albert Peterson ’55 of Salisbury, retired engineering department manager from Raytheon in Andover;
  • Kennedy College of Sciences – Mary Bedell ’81 and Russell Bedell ’81 of Dracut, retired Raytheon software engineers;
  • Manning School of Business – Christopher MacKenzie ’84 of Andover, office managing partner at RSM;
  • Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences – Margaret Fitzgerald ’86 of Boston, founder, president and principal lecturer for Fitzgerald Health Education Associates;
  • Young Alumni Award – Corey Lanier ’14 of Austin, Texas, software engineering recruiter for Google.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 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 leaders in their communities and around the globe.