UMass Amherst Honors Former Chancellors, Presidents at Homecoming Dinner Sept. 27

AMHERST, Mass. - A dinner honoring the former chancellors and presidents of the University of Massachusetts will take place Saturday, Sept. 27 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the VIP Room at the Mullins Center. One of the highlights of Homecoming Weekend, this historic gathering will feature presentations by both current Chancellor David K. Scott and UMass President William M. Bulger.

The eight former chancellors and presidents constitute a living history of the University in the latter half of the century, says Scott, and as such are a resource to be honored and cherished.

"When I look around at the buildings, the faculty, staff, and the students who make up the University, I see living embodiments of the accomplishments of these individuals, accomplishments that they began, but that live on," Scott says.

The former chancellors and presidents encompass more than 40 years of the history of the University, beginning with President Jean Paul Mather, who served in the position from 1954-60. Others to be honored include President John Lederle, 1960-70, and chancellors Oswald Tippo, 1970-71; Randolph W. Bromery, 1971-79; Henry Koffler, 1979-82; Loren Baritz, (interim) 1982; Joseph Duffey, 1982-91 (chancellor 1982-91, president 1991-93); and Richard O’Brien, 1991-93. All but Oswald Tippo plan to attend. Says Scott: "These decades constitute a major transformation of higher education in the United States and on the campus, in access, in the nature of the curriculum and education, and in the development of the three components of the triple mission of the University - teaching, outreach, and research. These years also roughly coincide with the designation of the Amherst campus as a university."

The accomplishments of these individuals are varied and unique to their times, says Scott, although each of the chancellors and presidents was vital to the University in his own way. "They presided over the University in good times and in difficult times and each, together with their administrations and with the recruitment of excellent faculty, staff, and students, carried the University to new levels of achievement," Scott says.

The dinner will begin with a toast to the past and future of the University by Scott, and will continue with a presentation of the overall accomplishments of the former chancellors and presidents. Following a video presentation highlighting these achievements, Scott will recognize each of the chancellors and presidents individually, then invite the group on stage together to receive gifts and have their photograph taken. These portraits, together with a set of essays by each chancellor and president (in preparation) will constitute an important documentation of the University’s history.

The event will conclude with a presentation to both the former chancellors and presidents and to Scott by Bulger. Says Scott: "As we celebrate our past history and accomplishments, it is also the happy occasion to celebrate our new president of the University of Massachusetts system, President William Bulger."