As an alum of UMass Lowell (Lowell State Class of 1964) looking forward to celebrating my 50th Reunion next year and one who proudly maintains my UML connection, I was very pleased at the presentation made by Chancellor Marty Meehan at last week’s Lowell Plan Breakfast. I’ve long hoped for a greater and better connection between the University and the Lowell/Greater Lowell community. It’s happening now – built on a solid and expanding foundation and with palpable commitment. The document “The Economic Effect: How UMass Lowell Benefits the City of Lowell” was made available at the breakfast. Dick Howe included a link in his notes about the breakfast. I’ve reposedt his notes and that link below. Take the time to read it… you’ll be glad you did.
Marty Meehan, Chancellor of UMass Lowell, took the microphone next and recounted the amazing accomplishments of UML. The faculty is stronger than ever, enrollment is up 40%, the average SAT score has risen 66 points in 6 years, and the school is much more selective in choosing its students. He commended the role Middlesex Community College has played in the success of UML, saying that a student who begins at MCC has a very high likelihood of graduating from UML on time. Meehan continued praising MCC, saying that UML would not have purchased the Inn and Conference Center unless MCC had already committed to downtown Lowell.
Meehan then urged everyone to closely scrutinize the colorful pamphlet that had been placed at each seat in the room. “The Economic Effect: How UMass Lowell Benefits the City of Lowell” quantifies all the financial contributions that UML provides to the city: More than $350 million in new buildings; $24 million in annual salaries to Lowell residents; $3.5 million in financial aid to Lowell residents; $2.7 million in goods and services purchased from Lowell businesses; nearly a quarter of a million per year in meal and room taxes and many other things. Meehan also pointed everyone to the narratives that accompanied the recent upgrade in the city’s bond rating. Both cited UMass Lowell has a big factor in that upgrade. Meehan closed by asking the audience what Lowell would look like today without Middlesex Community College, UMass Lowell, and Lowell General Hospital.