Chen has focused on student success, inclusion, community engagement & research growth

Massachusetts Gov. Maura T. Healey
Gov. Maura T. Healey will give the keynote at Chancellor Chen's Inauguration.


Media contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations,, and Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations,

WHEN: 11 a.m., Thursday, April 13, 2023

WHERE: Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell (300 Arcand Dr., Lowell, MA 01852)

Throughout her first nine months as chancellor, Julie Chen has repeatedly emphasized the power of partnerships and the priority UMass Lowell places on creating and growing relationships with industry, nonprofits, government agencies and fellow universities. 

“It’s through these collaborative partnerships that we develop new and unique opportunities for our students, for our faculty and researchers and, ultimately, for our graduates,” said Chen, who has emphasized the importance of paid career-connected experiences. “Lowell’s future is bright because UMass Lowell is working hand-in-hand with organizations throughout our community to create it.”

A mechanical engineering professor and recognized leader in research, STEM and economic development in higher education, Chen is UMass Lowell’s first Asian-American, first LGBTQ+ and second woman chancellor.

One of UMass Lowell’s most prominent partners, Gov. Maura T. Healey, will give the ceremony’s keynote address.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at Chancellor Julie Chen’s inaugural ceremony and to recognize her incredible contributions to UMass Lowell,” Healey said. “She is a dynamic, collaborative leader who is driving success for students, faculty and our entire state.”

In addition to remarks from UMass Lowell students, community and elected officials and UMass System leaders, the ceremony will feature the rich and diverse culture of Lowell and its public research university.

On the evening before the inauguration ceremony, Chen will host a UMass Lowell Community Celebration to raise money for an endowed fund to support student success.

Key successes in year one

As Chen’s first academic year winds down, key examples of increased momentum have been laying the groundwork for the university’s future: 

  • In October, Chen welcomed UMass Lowell alumnus and Android co-founder Rich Miner ’86, ’89, ’97 to campus as the university celebrated Miner’s $5 million donation and established the Richard A. Miner School of Computer & Information Sciences.
  • Final total research expenditures – nearly $95 million last year – are expected to top $100 million as the university continues its pursuit of Research 1 status, designating UMass Lowell among the nation’s top-tier research universities.
  • The university’s nationally recognized River Hawk Scholars Academy – supporting first-generation college students who are fundamental to UMass Lowell’s identity and mission – continued its growth thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Lori Trahan and Sen. Ed Markey.

And perhaps most importantly, UMass Lowell is finalizing the development of a new strategic plan to guide the university’s focus as it builds upon the transformational foundation created during the last 15 years.

The plan identifies goals and metrics around:

  • Enrollment and Student Success
  • A Diverse, Welcoming and Inclusive Campus
  • Research Excellence
  • Partnering with our Community for Mutual Benefit

Visit the Inauguration website for more information.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 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.