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AROUND THE VALLEY
UMass Lowell Celebrates Record Enrollment, Start of Academic Year
UMass Lowell today celebrated the start of the new academic year with the official welcome for the university’s largest and most diverse group of new students, symbols of the record growth of the institution, which has reached the 18,000 mark in total enrollment for the first time in its history. More than 3,200 new first-year and transfer students have enrolled at UMass Lowell for the fall semester, the largest number in university history. This year’s freshman class has an average SAT score of more than 1220 and high-school GPA above 3.5.
Through record numbers of new students every year since 2007 and rising student success rates – including an 86.6 percent continuation rate for freshmen – UMass Lowell has increased enrollment by 55 percent, more than 6,300 students, in 10 years. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks UMass Lowell as the fastest-growing public doctoral university in New England and the fifth-fastest growing in the U.S. UMass Lowell is also the second-fastest rising institution in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Best National Universities ranking since it was first included on the list in 2010.
“You are attending UMass Lowell at an incredible time in the university’s history,” Chancellor Jacquie Moloney told new students at Convocation today at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. She pointed to the 14 new properties opened by UMass Lowell since 2009, including state-of-the-art academic and research buildings, new residence halls and student centers, as well as the university’s rising rank on the Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report lists. “These are just a few of the many breakthrough rankings and records we have had in the last few years.”
UMass Lowell is as proud of the inclusive culture of the university community as it is of rankings and growth, said Moloney, a UMass Lowell graduate who is the first woman to lead the university in its history.
“Here, we are united in our commitment to working with you to make sure that your education is transformational, and to engaging with you in research and service learning that enables you to make a difference,” she said. “Here, we are one community, regardless of race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity. Here, we celebrate our differences, and believe that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”
NECC Unveils Dedicated Space for Bachelor Degree Completion Programs
In an effort to make bachelor’s degrees more accessible to students in the greater Lawrence area, Northern Essex Community College on Wednesday announced an expanded continuing education program in partnership with Regis College and Lyndon State College. As students rushed past the press conference to get to classes on the second floor of 420 Common St., leaders of all three schools announced the floor would be home base for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at NECC through the program.
“Geography is destiny,” said Lane Glenn, president of NECC, referring to a common issue Lawrence-area students face when pursuing a four-year degree — access to transportation.
The nearest private four-year college is Merrimack College in Andover, but with an annual tuition of nearly $40,000, the school remains out of reach for many area students. UMass Lowell is about 10 miles away, and costs just over $14,000 for in-state tuition.
Regis College, a private Catholic college in Weston, Massachusetts, and Lyndon State College, in Lyndonville, Vermont, have been offering bachelor programs at NECC for students with an associate’s degree for the past two years. Students at Lyndon State College’s programs at NECC can obtain in-state tuition, making their degrees in computer information systems and graphic design an affordable option.
Regis College announced Wednesday it will offer two more degree programs at NECC, adding sports management and health sciences to the nursing and public health degrees they already offer at the satellite campus in Lawrence known as Regis North.
With the program expansion, Regis College President Antoinette Hays announced, “Lawrence is a college town.”
The space includes four renovated classrooms and computer labs on the second floor of 420 Common St.
Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Continue Corporate Work Study Program Partnership
At 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, when most people in Lawrence were on their first cup of coffee, members of the Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Board of Directors were climbing into vans to take 80 freshmen students to work as part of NDCR’s Corporate Work Study Program. One of those freshmen, Jennixa DeLaCruz, found her way to the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center administration building in Methuen.
GLFHC has been a partner of the high school since 2009. They employ a “full team” of four students (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior), which is the equivalent of one full-time position at the organization. This generates 60 percent of tuition costs for each student. Employed students at GLFHC work in the Finance Department, assisting with grants and contracts as well as in the Human Resource Department to help with managing the human resource information system and compensation.
“I may have more butterflies in my stomach than she does,” said NDCR Board Member Anthony Conti after dropping DeLaCruz off at the nonprofit’s Griffin Brook Drive location. “It’s like dropping off my own child at school, but add on a corporate office setting full of adults, no students her own age and tasks that most college graduates are given when they start their careers after graduating college. I am very proud of her!”
NDCR’s Corporate Work Study Program is a unique program allowing for an affordable option for students of low-income families in the greater Lawrence area to receive a private college preparatory education.
Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Opening of Wang’s Table Outdoor Dining
The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce was pleased to conduct a ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 1, in celebration of the opening of the new outdoor dining area for Wang’s Table on 46 Washington Street in Haverhill.
The newly created dining area allows for an enjoyable outdoor experience and offers customers this increasingly popular urban dining option. The outdoor dining room will feature heating, allowing for comfortable seasonal dining. Wang’s Table has been a part of the Haverhill community since 2006, offering authentic food served in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union to Sponsor Luncheon to Benefit Seniors
The Power of Flowers Project announces that Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union will be the Presenting Sponsor of the Third Annual Spread the Joy Luncheon to be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Tewksbury Country Club.
The gesture of the credit union helps assure that the mission of the nonprofit organization will continue. For eight years, the Power of Flowers Project has been rescuing and repurposing flowers, donated from corporate events, weddings, memorial services, retailers and wholesalers, with the help of over 150 volunteers in its Tewksbury workshop. The donated flowers are transformed into bouquets given to seniors and the underserved in 31 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley. To date, nearly 70,000 bouquets have been delivered to more than 120 care communities, hospice centers, veteran’s services and community meals.
“About 70 percent of the donated flowers, which would otherwise be thrown in dumpsters or landfills, are saved to give new joy to someone in need of a lift,” says Executive Director Leslie Kirle. “The cups used for the bouquets are biodegradable and each year thousands of pounds of floral supplies and containers are sold back to the floral industry.”
Element Care Holds PACE Olympics
The 6th annual Element Care PACE Olympics was held on Sept. 7 at Danvers Indoor Sports Complex. Eighty-four Massachusetts residents from the North Shore and Merrimack Valley participated – all over 57 years of age (35 over age 70 and 3 over age 90). The athletes competed on one of seven teams, each representing an Element Care PACE Program site. Each site sends 6-12 participants – and many of of the organization’s senior managers, site coordinators and department heads attended.
The goal of its PACE Olympics is to promote wellness and a healthy, active lifestyle for older adults so they can live in their homes and communities, safely and comfortably, for as long as they can, keeping their stays in hospitals and nursing homes as minimal as possible.
Mark S. Cochran Named Credit Union Hero by Banker & Tradesman
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark S. Cochran, was recently named one of Banker & Tradesman’s 2017 Credit Union Heroes. The award recognizes individuals in the credit union industry who dedicate their time and energy to help others within the local community and extend their support to various charities and organizations. Cochran is among 13 individuals to receive the award.
“I am so honored to receive the Credit Union Heroes award alongside so many wonderful credit union professionals,” said Cochran. “At Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, we work together as a team to provide assistance to people in our community. Social responsibility is an integral part of our mission, and I am proud of the work we do each and every day,” he added.
Cochran has served as president and CEO of Jeanne D’Arc since 2007. His focus on community outreach and education directly relates to the credit union’s overall mission and has helped it grow exponentially in assets, membership, locations and overall influence within the community. The Dunstable native has inspired Jeanne D’Arc employees to serve on various boards and volunteer 8,000 hours of their own time each year. In 2016, more than 18,800 community members participated in the Credit Union’s Financial Education classes, taught by a team of enthusiastic financial education specialists.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Bryanna Matias, of Lawrence, was recently honored as a local winner of the A.C.E. (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence) Award from the Exchange Club of Lawrence for her outstanding attitude and performance while overcoming adversity to earn a high school diploma. The recognition comes with a $1,000 college scholarship. Matias stated, “[I] chose to live a productive life and surrounded myself with positivity and love,” despite the stress of her father’s imprisonment and a four-year separation from her mother after their eviction forced them to move in with different family members. Matias, who now lives with her mother in Haverhill, credits the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence with providing her with a nurturing second home, as well as easing the food insecurity she experienced due to her family’s financial struggles through its nightly supper program. Matias, who graduated this past May from Central Catholic High School, was also involved with the Merrimack Valley YMCA, Groundwork Lawrence and the Lawrence Youth Council. She took global health courses as a Summer Scholars student at the University of Notre Dame and just began her freshman year at UMass Amherst with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon.
Reynold G. Spadoni has been named vice president, mission integration for Covenant Health. In this key leadership position, he will be responsible for integrating Covenant’s mission and values into all aspects of the system and work. Spadoni is charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing meaningful mission integration strategies, initiatives and formation programs across the Covenant system and will provide guidance for leadership and staff on a wide variety of mission, pastoral and ethical issues. Spadoni brings to this position extensive executive health care management experience and a true understanding of Catholic identity and mission derived from his many years of service as a deacon. He comes to Covenant Health with a working knowledge of the system having served as a member of the Executive Committee of Covenant Health Systems from 1997-1999.
The 12th Annual Fore Melmark New England Golf Tournament will be held at the Andover Country Club. Funds raised will support the organization’s mission of serving children, adults and their families affected by a broad range of intellectual disabilities. Andover, Mass. | MelmarkNE.org
Merrimack Valley Food Bank will hold its 24th annual Golf Tournament and Awards Dinner at Indian Ridge Country Club. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, carts, lunch and dinner, snacks on the course and a gift. Andover, Mass. | MVFB.org
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Merrimack Valley will hold their 4th Annual Youth Venture Launch Party, a night of drinks, door prizes, networking and high-impact volunteer opportunities that support the area’s youngest entrepreneurs tackling the toughest issues in their local communities. Boston, Mass. | UnitedWayMassBay.org
Groundwork Lawrence will hold their 15th annual Spicket River Cleanup. The organization welcomes volunteers of all ages, as well as any businesses, churches, schools and community organizations who would like to volunteer as groups. Lawrence, Mass. | GroundworkLawrence.org
Mill City Grows will hold their 6th Annual Harvest Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Common Park & Community Garden. The event includes live music and entertainment, food trucks and local food vendors, homemade harvest soup, garden tours and much, much more. Lowell, Mass. | MillCityGrows.org
The 6th Annual Everyone’s A Player Golf Tournament will be held on September 18th at the Andover Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament will help hundreds of local athletes in the Merrimack Valley in need of equipment and financial assistance to participate in sporting programs. Andover, Mass. | EAPGolfTournament.com
September 19 – 23
The Mall at Rockingham Park will welcome the 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit to the center for its first-ever stop in the state of New Hampshire. The high-tech 53-foot tractor-trailer, which unfolds into a 1,000 square foot exhibit, will be located in the mall’s parking lot between the Dining Pavilion and Lord & Taylor. Salem, N.H. Simon.com|
Methuen Police Department’s C.A.R.E.S. Initiative 2nd Annual Recovery Walk will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Loop. The event aims to reduce societal stigma of addiction and celebrate individuals, families and communities in recovery. Attendees will have access to interactive activities for kids, face painting, music and a raffle. Methuen, Mass. | Eventbrite.com
Merrimack Valley Hospice’s signature event, the annual Food, Wine and Beer Pairing, will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Black Swan Country Club. This year’s theme is “Flappers, Feathers & Fedoras.” Georgetown, Mass. | HomeHealthFoundation.org
The Renaissance Club will hold their 13th Annual Comedy Night Fundraiser at the American Legion in Chelmsford for a night of good laughs for a good cause — supporting adults with mental illnesses in the Greater Lowell area. Chelmsford, Mass. | (978) 454-7944
Help beat poverty “one step at a time” at Lazarus House‘s Hike for Hope 2017, which will begin at 1 p.m. at The Park on Bartlet Street. Participation and fundraising efforts will provide life-saving basic services to people in crisis through the Lawrence-based organization. Andover, Mass. | LazarusHouse.com
CLASS, Inc‘s 25th Annual Barry Faye Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Andover Country Club. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, a gift, carts, lunch and dinner, awards and live auction. Funds raised support day programs, vocational training and employment, and community inclusion for adults with disabilities. Lawrence, Mass. | CLASSIncGolf.org
The MSPCA at Nevins Farm, in alliance with Blackdog Builders, will hold the 16th annual “Cause for the Paws” Golf Tournament at Campbell’s Scottish Highlands. Guests will have the opportunity to win prizes and raffles, enjoy a fantastic dinner and, of course, play golf — all while raising money for the MSPCA’s animals. Salem, N.H. | MSPCA.org
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