George Tsapatsaris ~ 2013 UMass Lowell Alumni Award Honoree


GSE Dean Anita Greenwood, Chancellor Marty Meehan ’78 , Honoree George Tsapataris ’77, Executive Vice-Chancellor Jackie Moloney ’75. ’92 (UMass Lowell  – Office of University Advancement)

Last Thursday evening in the midst of a very tough week it was heartening to spend time with members and supporters of the UMass Lowell family recognizing and celebrating the leadership and commitment of fellow alums and their professional achievements. Each in their own way gave tribute in return to the role of the University in their lives – whether they attended Lowell State Teachers College, Lowell Technological Institute, the University of Lowell or the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. Seven Alums were honored – George Membrino ’52 – Music Education; Kimberly Conroy Sawyer ’89 – Mathematics and Computing; Jeffrey Cosiol ’67 – Electrical Engineering; Mark Forziati ’78 – Business Administration; Bruce Arakelian ’82  Nursing; Danielle (Bergeron) McFadden ’07 – Community Social Psychology (given the “recent alum award”) and my good friend former Superintendent of  the Lowell Public Schools George Tsapatsaris ’77 – Education.

My focus was particularly on George Tsapatsaris whom I’ve admired for a long time for his commitment to urban public school education and to whom the City of Lowell especially its students and parents owe a great debt of gratitude. His tenure as Superintendent – part of  a 40 year legacy in Lowell – saw a $300 million dollars school buildings program that stands as the most comprehensive in the history of the City and the Commonwealth. His deft handling of a threaten federal law suit in conjunction with Mayor Richard Howe and City Solicitor Tom Sweeney turned the Lowell schools toward a better more productive educational pathway. While his heart remained in the Acre and the Bartlett School where he had been a student, teacher and assistant principal, the entire system – students teachers and staff got his attention and commitment. When honored in 2001 as a Distinguished Alum of Lowell High School George Tsapatsaris was described thusly:  George Tsapatsaris, Class of 1949, was the second-longest-serving superintendent in Lowell Public School history. He served as a teacher, administrator and superintendent for more than four decades. His tenure as superintendent is noted for insuring equal educational opportunities for students and for an ambitious, comprehensive and successful school building program.

It is my honor to serve with him on the advisory board to the UML Graduate School of Education. It is a further honor to call him a fellow UML Alum and my friend. Congratulations and kudos to George Tsapatsaris for this well-deserved honor.

Learn about all the honorees here: