Here for a Reason video series

The University of Massachusetts was established around a simple yet visionary premise: that a great public university would transform lives and in so doing, transform our Commonwealth. That idea is as essential today as it was 150 years ago. Increasingly, the story of UMass is the story of Massachusetts. Here are some of those stories of impact.

Making the World Better

UMass Boston has given student Lydia Grasso the opportunity to live and work in Cambodia, as well as an understanding of the traumas – past and present – suffered there. Grasso plans to return to Cambodia after graduation to work with women and children emerging from the horror of sexual slavery.



Motivated by her desire to help others, UMass Medical School student Blair Robinson volunteers time to a Worcester-based project that combats hunger and taps locally grown fruits and vegetables to fill food-supply gaps. Robinson says students across the five-campus UMass system are stepping forward to serve their communities and the Commonwealth.


When it All Comes Together

UMass Amherst student Samantha Giffen talks about her love for research, her commitment to world health and the joy that she felt in being named a Goldwater Scholar, a top national award emblematic of excellence in mathematics, science or engineering.



President Marty Meehan describes how UMass transformed his life and says he is working to make sure that the same life-changing opportunities remain available to the students of today … and tomorrow.


Public Service Mission

UMass Law School student Rebecca Lacoste, a self-described “product of public education,” is focused on protecting the rights of children and chose to attend the Commonwealth’s only public law school because of its strong emphasis on public service law.