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University of Massachusetts Boston (2015)

Brief Description:

UMass Boston celebrations

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public research university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 193 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, offered through its 11 colleges and graduate schools, serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit


Mission Statement:

UMass Boston logoThe University of Massachusetts Boston is a public research university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement. Our vibrant, multi-cultural educational environment encourages our broadly diverse campus community to thrive and succeed. Our distinguished scholarship, dedicated teaching, and engaged public service are mutually reinforcing, creating new knowledge while serving the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world.

President's Quote:

“This year, we celebrate our wonderful labor of love in which we have been engaged for 50 years – 50 years of teaching, research and service. Fifty years of creating and expanding access for students who might otherwise be excluded. Fifty years of grappling with the critical issues that our communities encounter and forging collaborative solutions. Fifty years of studying, advising and contributing to the commonwealth’s culture, environment, politics and economy.” – Chancellor J. Keith Motley

Major Accomplishments:

  • 1964: The University of Massachusetts Boston is established after Governor Endicott Peabody signs legislation on June 18.
  • 1965: UMass Boston welcomed more than 1,200 students in fall 1965, with the sounds of yet-to-be-completed renovations echoing through the former Boston Consolidated Gas building in Park Square.
  • 1974: UMass Boston’s new campus on Columbia Point opens for spring semester classes, with 5,700 students enrolled.
  • 1979: UMass Boston welcomes a new neighbor on Columbia Point: the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
  • 1981: UMass Boston establishes its first Ph.D. program -- a Ph.D. in Environmental Science -- the start of UMass Boston’s leadership in the field of environmental science.
  • 1982: UMass Boston absorbs Boston State College, gaining programs in education and nursing; additional undergraduate and master’s degree offerings; and 3,500 former Boston State students.
  • 2004: New UMass Boston Campus Center opens.
  • 2009: UMass Boston launches its Venture Development Center, to support startup companies in healthcare, life sciences, and technology.
  • 2011: The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate breaks ground on the UMass Boston campus; it is set to open in spring 2015.
  • 2013: UMass Boston breaks ground on a new General Academic Building No. 1, scheduled to open in late 2015.
  • 2015: The Integrated Sciences Complex, the first new academic building on campus since 1974, opens for spring semester classes and research.


Fun Facts:

  • UMass Boston serves the most diverse student population in New England; students come from more than 140 countries and speak 90 different languages.
  • UMass Boston is the only university in the country with a beacon as its mascot. In 1974, university teams officially became known as UMass Boston Beacons.
  • Frederick S. Troy Professor of English Lloyd Schwartz was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work in the Boston Phoenix.
  • UMass Boston shares a peninsula overlooking Boston Harbor with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum. It is the only university in the nation adjacent to a presidential library.
  • UMass Boston hosted the first presidential debate between then Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore in 2000.
  • In June 2006, Barack Obama served as the keynote speaker at UMass Boston’s commencement ceremony, less than a year before announcing his presidential candidacy.
  • UMass Boston launched the nation’s first Green Chemistry Ph.D. program in 2004.
  • The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the ninth-largest nursing school in the country.
  • The university’s Gerontology Ph.D. program has produced more gerontology Ph.D.s than any university in the world.


Notable Alumni:

  • Gina McCarthy, class of 1976, is current administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Thomas Menino, class of 1988, served as mayor of the City of Boston from 1993-2014.
  • Joseph Abboud, class of 1972, is an international men's fashion designer.
  • Amsale Aberra, class of 1981, is a celebrity wedding dress designer.
  • Paul Anastas and John Warner, class of 1984, are regarded as the "Fathers of Green Chemistry.”
  • William Bratton, class of 1975, is the current police commissioner of New York City, and formerly police commissioner in Boston and Los Angles.
  • Paul M. English, class of 1987 and 1989, is co-founder and chief technology officer of
  • Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, class of 1976, is current president of Citizens Energy Corporation and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.



"UMass Boston was an amazing experience for me...This was the first time I really understood that learning could be almost thirst quenching." – Gina McCarthy, '76, EPA Administrator

"A lot of what the University of Massachusetts impressed upon me was the value of people, the value of hard work, and the importance of being accountable and getting results." – Patrick Gaston, '83, President of the Western Union Foundation

"UMass was completely formative to me...I had this incandescent experience here." – Eileen Myles, '71, award-winning poet.

"One of the things I love about UMass Boston is the amount of diversity that we have here. We have so many different types of people, and you're going to find a place where you are going to fit in." – Kendra Ford, ‘17

"The academic rigor is at UMass Boston, and if you take the time, get to know your professors, you will find that." – Isabel Pryor, '95, CEO at Key National Trust

“I love being a Ph.D. student at UMass Boston. We have a really exciting department that is pushing the envelope on what can be done within business and are very open to engaging with students in order to make that happen.” – Elena Kennedy

“I decided to come to UMass Boston from the West Coast because you’ve got the ocean; it’s beautiful. I’m getting a really great education at great value. I couldn’t be happier to be here.” – Chantelle Taylor, ‘16

“I feel like my personality and mind has been so shaped by my experiences with the professors here. It’s been something that I don’t think I could have gotten at any other school in Boston.” – Rick Chason, ‘15

"My favorite thing about UMass Boston is the opportunities presented to students. I came in wanting to do something different and the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement and Jumpstart changed my whole perspective.” – Yihra Peralta, ‘15

“The classes and the teachers in the Honors College have been really, really incredible, really encouraging. I can definitely see why they were picked to be honors professors because they’ve really enhanced my experience here.” – Rachael Roberts-Toler, ‘17


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662