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(Photo courtesy of Dave Roback/The Springfield Republican)
October 2, 2015

Victor Woolridge honored for UMass Board role

  • The UMass System
Woolridge cites need for “pathways to opportunity”

SPRINGFIELD -- Hailed as a role model and hometown hero, Victor Woolridge last night was officially welcomed into his role as chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees.

“In a short period of time, Victor Woolridge has established himself as an outstanding chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees,” UMass President Marty Meehan said, at a reception held at the UMass Center at Springfield.

“Victor has done a tremendous job … shepherding the university through an important period of transition. He has been at the helm during the search for a new president for the system and new chancellor for UMass Lowell, navigating the waters with his clear, calm, even-handed style of leadership,” President Meehan added.

Woolridge, a Springfield native and the vice president of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, was appointed chairman of the 22-member UMass Board of Trustees earlier this year, having been a member of the Board since 2009 and held a variety of leadership posts during that period. He is a 1979 graduate of UMass Amherst.

Family, friends, business and community leaders and members of the UMass community attended the reception, which was sponsored by the Beta Sigma Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity and MassMutual.

Chairman Woolridge, whose many civic activities include past leadership of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and current membership on the Baystate Health board of trustees, said he was “was thrilled to have been honored in my hometown by friends, family, business associates and the community that has nurtured and supported me from early childhood through adulthood.”

He added: “As a product of a gateway city I can attest that aspiring students and families aren’t locked out from opportunities, but through institutions like UMass, the pathways to opportunity are wide open.”

During his tenure on the UMass Board, Chairman Woolridge’s interests have included student affordability, efficiency and effectiveness and providing access to high-quality academic programs.

Noting that Woolridge had cited Martin Luther King’s call-to-action maxim pertaining to “the fierce urgency of now” in his first speech as the UMass Board of Trustees’ new chairman, President Meehan described Chairman Woolridge as “a man who has made ‘the fierce urgency of now’ a guiding principal in his life.”

Brooks Fitch, who organized the event and served as master of ceremonies for the program, said the focus was on Victor Woolridge – and excellence.

Fitch noted: “The event ties in with the idea of celebrating excellence, which is one of the foundations of Sigma Pi Phi and Sigma Boule.  We try to, in everything we do, celebrate and cultivate excellence and we wanted to celebrate the excellence that Victor personifies.”

More photos from the event are available at


Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238