Sunday, April 28, 2013

UMass Rising -- A Special Event to Mark a Great University

Yesterday was a very special day for the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Not only did we inaugurate Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy as UMass Amherst's 30th Chancellor at the Mullins Center with many dignitaries, faculty, administrators, and special guests in attendance. but we also celebrated UMass Amherst in a gala event last evening.

The theme was that of UMass Rising.

The venue was our new recreation center which was transformed, complete with a red carpet, into a beautiful room with lights, white draperies, flowers, and a delicious dinner due to the UMass Amherst award-winning chef, Ken Toong.

The masters of ceremony were 2 nationally renowned UMass alums -- attorney  Kenneth Feinberg and the astronaut Cady Coleman Both spoke eloquently on the role of the education that UMass Amherst provided in their success. Feinberg was an undergraduate at UMass whereas Coleman received her PhD at UMass. She took a Minuteman (UMass mascot) statue with her to outer space where she spent 6 months and it traveled 93 million miles with her. Feinberg singled out faculty that he had had as a student who were his mentors and also noted his dear friend, Bob Epstein, who was also present at the gala.

We heard from President of the UMass system, Dr. Caret, our new Chancellor, and the Chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, .Henry Thomas III.

We were entertained by musical groups and a student group acting out some highlights of the 150 year history of UMass Amherst that we are celebrating this year.

A video with music highlighted the impact that UMass Amherst has made on students' lives and the importance of supporting this great institution.

A college degree transforms a life and accessibility and affordability are essential.

UMass Rising is the theme of the ambitious campaign to raise $300 million for schol;arships, endowed professorships, enhanced infrastructure, research support and more.

The evening was magical.