Statement from UMass President Marty Meehan on the passing of former Trustee MarDee Xifaras
“The UMass community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former UMass Trustee Margaret “MarDee” Xifaras. MarDee X was a phenomenal person who lived life with vigor, passion and perseverance. A pioneer for women in politics, she never wavered from her progressive values over the 40 years I knew her. As a UMass Trustee for five years, she advocated tirelessly on behalf of UMass and played a key role in establishing the UMass School of Law in Dartmouth. Simply put, we would not have a public law school in Massachusetts without MarDee X, and we owe her a debt of gratitude for her long-standing commitment to world-class public education in the Commonwealth. On behalf of the entire UMass community, I offer our condolences to John, her daughters, grandchildren, friends, colleagues and other loved ones.”
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson statement regarding the passing of Mardee Xifaras
"I am saddened by the loss of our alumna, former Trustee and UMass Dartmouth champion MarDee Xifaras (’78 MBA). Her love for UMass Dartmouth and this region, most notably displayed in her unyielding support for the creation of UMass Law, will leave a legacy that endures for generations. As a distinguished attorney, as grass roots organizer for candidates and causes at the national, statewide and local level, and benefactor of our university, MarDee lived a life in full pursuit of justice. Her life of service has been an example for all of us to follow.
On a personal note, I will cherish my conversations with MarDee. She was always ready and willing to listen, and then offer sound counsel rooted in her vast experience and enduring belief in the better angels of people. I will miss her.
On behalf of the students, staff, and faculty of UMass Dartmouth, I offer condolences to MarDee’s husband, Judge John Xifaras, her children, grandchildren, and countless friends and colleagues across the Commonwealth and nation."