News: Featured Stories

October 7, 2014

President Caret's Fourth Bus Tour Emphasizes Impact of UMass alumni

  • The UMass System
This year's trip focuses on the accomplishments of the UMass System's 450,000 graduates.

Emphasized impact of UMass alumni, says UMass graduates key to state's economic future

BOSTON -- UMass President Robert L. Caret today launched his fourth annual statewide bus tour, with this year's trip focusing on the impact and accomplishment of the UMass system's 450,000 graduates.

"We're on the road making that point that UMass graduates have played a key role in creating our state's storied past, are a big part of its current success and will have a major role in defining its future. In many ways, as goes the University of Massachusetts, so goes Massachusetts," President Caret said, as he began a first day of travel, which will include stops at UMass Boston's 50th anniversary celebration on Boston Common, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in Haverhill and in Lowell.

President Caret was joined on the bus tour by Henry M. Thomas III, the chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, who said the nearly 270,000 UMass graduates who live in Massachusetts help to provide the state with its competitive edge.

"Governor Patrick recently described Massachusetts as a place where our natural resource is brain power. He said that intellectual heft provides the state with its keen edge," Chairman Thomas noted.

"Based on the achievements that we see across the state, we know that our graduates are providing Massachusetts with the edge the governor talks about. While our trip will allow us to connect with only a small sampling of the many graduates who reflect so well on the University, we are, in a very real sense, celebrating the accomplishments of all of our graduates, are thanking them all, and are cheering them on."

The bus tour occurs as UMass is acclaimed as one of the 100 best universities in the world in the 2014-2015 World University Rankings, where it also is rated as the No. 1 public university in New England.

"This is a moment when our achievements are being noted on the global stage, and certainly the fact that our graduates go out and succeed here in Massachusetts and throughout the world burnishes our reputation and leads to such acclaim. So, this is a very appropriate time to be talking about impact and achievement," President Caret said.

The UMass system has seen student enrollment rise to a record 73,614, has developed an international reputation for the quality of its research, has become a national leader in generating revenue through the commercialization of the intellectual property that flows from research and now sees its endowment stand at a record $757 million.

Its campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell, as well as the Medical School in Worcester, have all enjoyed recent rankings successes, with the flagship campus in Amherst, for example, rising into the Top 30 among the nation's public universities in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report's rankings - an unusual 10-spot jump in a single year.

UMass also has received an additional $100 million in funding from the state over the past two years, allowing it to freeze tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students last year and again in the current academic year.

The slogan for this year's bus tour is: "IMPACT! UMass has Massachusetts ? On the Move." This is President Caret's fourth statewide bus tour - he launched his first tour shortly after arriving at UMass in 2011.

Among the alumni President Caret and Chairman Thomas will meet with during the statewide tour are:

  • UMass Amherst graduates Stanley C. Rosenberg, the Majority Leader in the Massachusetts Senate, and Massachusetts Bar Association President Marsha Kazarosian
  • UMass Boston graduate Maureen Melton, the Susan Morse Hilles Director of Libraries and Archives and Museum Historian at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Jessica Savage, a recent UMass Dartmouth graduate who has realized her dream of opening a café in her hometown of New Bedford
  • UMass Lowell graduates Robert J. Manning, the Chairman and CEO of MFS, a global asset management company, and Brian S. Dempsey, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
  • Anne Powell, MD, a Worcester-based pediatrician

The tour also includes a meeting with alumni in Springfield, at the Tower Square site of the University's new system center, UMass Center at Springfield.

"We are making the point that the vision that came to this state a century and a half ago -- the vision of a university that would transform individual lives, and in the process transform our communities and our state -- is being realized in a way that no one at that time could have imagined," President Caret said. "This is the vision that we celebrate, and it is as important today as it was 150 years ago."

"As trustees, we are pleased to see all that this University has become and note the many ways it serves the citizens of the Commonwealth," Chairman Thomas said. "The success we see across the state heartens us and inspires us to work harder and reach higher."

Follow the bus tour on Twitter at @rcaret

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0328; Ann Scales, 617-287-4084