On March 6, 2017, President Marty Meehan delivered his inaugural State of the University address, highlighting the public research university’s accomplishments and calling the five-campus system the “engine that drives daily life” in Massachusetts.
Meehan touched on a variety of topics during his address, including the workforce development and economic impact of UMass, the talent and perseverance of UMass students and alumni, the university’s increasing role in educating Massachusetts residents and the importance of welcoming students from around the globe.
“Our international scholars help us solve global problems, and that work results in intercultural understandings that make us stronger and safer,” Meehan said. “Public research universities, especially those as important to their states as UMass, won’t stand idly by while federal policies undermine our mission so directly. We must stand up and we must speak out.”
Meehan acknowledged the need to stay affordable in a challenging economic climate, outlining the university’s efforts to increase student scholarships through fundraising and improve pathways in collaboration with the state’s community colleges. He also announced a plan to provide free online financial literacy education to all UMass, state university, community college and high school students in Massachusetts through a collaboration between the UMass Donahue Institute and UMass Online.
“We are the University of Massachusetts. The University working for Massachusetts,” Meehan said. “We have a vision of a Commonwealth where success and prosperity is within the reach of all of our citizens, and we are working tirelessly to make that vision a reality.”
Approximately 300 people attended the event hosted by the UMass Foundation at the UMass Club in Boston. Among them were Gov. Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, members of the UMass Board of Trustees, and students, faculty and staff from the five UMass campuses.
The event featured student performers from the university’s four undergraduate campuses: UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell.
Read President Meehan’s full State of the University address as prepared for delivery.