President Caret launches statewide bus tour
NORTH ADAMS -- University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret today launched a four-day, 24-event statewide bus tour during which he will tout the University's attributes and also seek suggestions on how UMass can enhance its contributions to Massachusetts and its citizens.
President Caret, who took office on July 1, begins the 400-mile tour in Berkshire County today, meeting with business, civic and educational officials at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and also in Pittsfield.
"My purpose in traveling the state is to meet with key partners to discuss how we are working together and to pledge to do all we can at the University of Massachusetts to make the Commonwealth's future as bright and as prosperous as it can be," President Caret said.
"After three years of difficult economic times, people are wondering whether Massachusetts is going to remain the state that it has been -- a global cultural, educational and economic leader. Will the name Massachusetts continue to be synonymous with accomplishment and success?"
President Caret said. "My answer is that we can certainly achieve a future that is as distinguished and as vibrant as what has come before, but that is going to take all of us working together."
The four-day bus tour will make stops in North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield, Holyoke, Amherst, Worcester, Lowell, New Bedford, Fall River and Boston.
The theme for the bus tour is "On the Road Together," which President Caret said on one level "refers to the relationship between the Commonwealth and the University of Massachusetts. I believe that we are traveling in tandem and that Massachusetts will be able to achieve the future it wants only if it has a strong and vital University of Massachusetts."
President Caret said: "Just as we will travel to every corner of the state, the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts system are dispersed across the Commonwealth and are important engines for social, educational and economic progress. Taken collectively, the five campuses of the UMass system are educating nearly 70,000 students a year, graduating14,000 students annually and have produced more than 400,000 graduates, a quarter of a million of whom live in Massachusetts.
"We are a major engine for the Massachusetts economy, attracting more than $500 million in research funding and spinning off inventions and discoveries that generate about $40 million in licensing income a year, creating new companies and new jobs and strengthening many of our major companies and key industries. And, UMass has an estimated statewide economic impact of nearly $5 billion a year."
"The University of Massachusetts truly is central to who we are and where we are going in Massachusetts, and my role is to tell that story and to see if we can go beyond today's contributions in order to move our state forward," President Caret said.
Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238
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