UMass Amherst Launches Year-Long Celebration of 150th Birthday with Series of Sesquicentennial Events April 22-29

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst will kick off a year-long sesquicentennial celebration of its founding in 1863 with Founders Week, April 22 -29, an expansion of the university’s annual Founders Day celebration.
Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to a healthy, sustainable campus on Earth Day, April 22. The full day of activities celebrating Earth Day features an afternoon student fair and concert on Goodell Lawn, a Trashion Show featuring student-designed outfits made from recycled materials, and an evening keynote address, film screening, and book signing with Annie Leonard, international expert in sustainability and environmental health issues and creator of the documentary “The Story of Stuff.”
Festivities continue on Tuesday, April 23, at 4 p.m. in the Bernie Dallas Room of Goodell Hall with a book signing and discussion by Max Page and Marla Miller, co-authors of the recently published “University of Massachusetts Amherst, an Architectural Tour.” The authors will talk about how the architecture of the campus reflects and speaks, in brick and steel and concrete, of the university’s highest ideals as a national public research university.
On Thursday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. there will be a groundbreaking ceremony and celebratory lunch for the campus’s new Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) as part of Ag 150 day. The 50-acre working farm will serve as an outdoor classroom for educating future farmers grounded in the latest research and farming, horticultural, nursery and landscape techniques. Speakers will include UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy; Steven Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences; Stephen Herbert, director of the Stockbridge School’s Center for Agriculture; Rich Bonanno, president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation which pledged $500,000 to the ALC, and 88-year-old Alice Wysocki, member of the class of 1948, the first to graduate from the newly named University of Massachusetts.
Alumni will return to campus beginning Friday, April 26, for Alumni Weekend, a full slate of activities that includes reunion classes, a reception with Chancellor Subbaswamy, the Alumni Association Scholarship reception and social, and the chance to catch spring sports action.
Also on Friday, the groundbreaking ceremonies will be held for the Football Performance Center at 10 a.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and the Basketball Champions Center at 1:30 p.m. at the Boyden Practice Field on the south side of the Mullins Center.
Kumble Subbaswamy will be officially inaugurated as chancellorin a ceremony Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. in the Mullins Center. An international food reception will follow the ceremony. Also over the weekend, the university will launch its UMass Rising fundraising campaign.
The week closes on Monday, April 29, Founders Day, the 150th anniversary of the founding of Massachusetts Agricultural College. The day begins with the annual Length of Service Breakfast for faculty and staff. The Celebrate UMass Campus Cookout follows on Goodell Lawn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring free food and beverages, a 150th birthday cake created in the shape of the Old Chapel and the launch of the 36-hour UMass Gives social media-driven fundraising campaign. Members of the Minutemen football team will be on hand to help celebrate. The Faculty Awards Dinner closes out the day.