Meehan closes campaign account to fund educational foundation

It’s no secret that I’m a longtime admirer and supporter of Marty Meehan. From Lowell High School days when Marty was sitting in my English class and dashing about as a student leader to later years when after being on opposing sides in a Democratic congressional primary we became work colleagues serving as staff aides in Jim Shannon’s congressional office, it had been clear to me that Marty Meehan was a doer with tremendous energy and work ethic who saw the big picture. Of course I signed on to support his candidacy for Congress in 1992… I knew what to expect; I knew he would tackle tough issues; I knew that he would make an important mark on the Congress.

UMass President Marty Meehan will close his campaign account and move the money to his educational foundation. Sun file photo.

When Marty was selected as Chancellor of UMass Lowell back in 2007, it was with mixed feelings that I looked at his decision to accept. But it was time – for many reasons – for him to shift gears in his life. I knew that Marty would be underestimated by the political observers, by the chattering class and by most of the UML faculty and staff. As an alum of Lowell State College/UMass Lowell, I was excited for what he’d bring to the university. The WOW factor of his years as Chancellor speak for themselves in the changes… the statistics about UML…. the building and expansion… the reach and talent… the views of the students, faculty and staff – they tell the tale.

Today’s announcement by Marty Meehan about his congressional campaign fund slams shut another chapter. The Lowell Sun is carrying the story on-line as will other media sources – the pundits will have their go as well. As I noted in my FB post just a while ago:

“It was just a matter of timing and UMass President and former 5th District Congressman Marty Meehan chose today to announce that he will close out his campaign account. There was never any question of Marty’s commitment to UMass and being in for the long haul… but this decision should put to rest the annual media questions about his future as long as his congressional campaign account existed! It is not surprising to me that the account fund will be transferred to an existing educational foundation and that the first donation will be $1 million gift to his (and my alma mater) UMass Lowell. Marty has always had a keen focus on education – particularly higher education. His education at what is now UMass Lowell opened many door for him and his family as it has for so many others. As a campaign donor, a UMass Lowell Alum and a member of the education foundation board, I am pleased at the support Marty Meehan is showing for higher education in Massachusetts – particularly for UMass Lowell. “

UML reception 2010

Expect more innovation and change across the 5-campus University, increased student scholarship and other support, a rise in the competitveness level, increased outreach to alums and supporters – business, public and private resources… and more. Marty Meehan is at the helm of the University of Massachusetts and he’s staying.

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