Education for Service Awards Highlight Boston State College Legacy
December 07, 2011
UMass Boston proudly celebrated the 5th annual Boston State College celebration on December 1 in the Campus Center Alumni Lounge. Over 160 attendees were present to congratulate this year’s five recipients of the Boston State College Education for Service Awards.
They are alumni history teacher and former Massasoit Community College President Gerry Burke, ’59, special needs educator Beverly Lowery, ’75, ’80, and Quincy College President Peter Tsaffaras, ‘73; and former Boston State College faculty members Joan and John Moon. Joyce Murphy, ’74, one of last year’s recipients, served as emcee.
The awards honor distinguished alumni whose lives brilliantly embody their alma mater’s institutional motto, “Education for Service.” Their commitment to service and their devotion and creativity as leaders are emblematic of the ideals shared by Boston State College in the past and by UMass Boston today.
The video above contains slides of the event set to music.
In 2007, the annual Boston State College Celebration event was inaugurated on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the 1982 merger between Boston State College and the University of Massachusetts Boston. In conjunction with the anniversary, UMass Boston dedicated the Boston State College room in the Campus Center to pay tribute to the College’s rich history and contributions to public higher education. The room houses memorabilia related to Boston State College and its predecessor institutions, State Teachers College of Boston and Teachers College of the City of Boston. The university established the Education for Service Awards in 2008.
In his remarks at the Boston State Celebration, Chancellor J. Keith Motley offered a tribute to Professor Carole Remick, who passed away in October 2011. Remick had served on the faculties of both Boston State College and UMass Boston and was a member of the Boston State College Steering Committee.
“As the founder and long-time director of the High School Journalism Collaborative, a program which introduced minority high school students to the field of journalism, Professor Remick gave many future journalists an opportunity which catalyzed their career interests,” said the Chancellor.
In receiving their awards, the recipients explained the rich influence Boston State had on their careers of service. As a girl, Beverly Lowery drove by Boston State College and dreamed that someday she would study there. But following high school the tuition costs were out of her reach. Never abandoning her dream to become a teacher, she enrolled at Boston State College at age 39. “Boston State helped me to realize, even at a late age, that education was worth fighting for,” she told the guests.
Peter Tsaffaras shared his memory of the place of “common ground” the Boston State campus represented, especially precious given the social discord of the early 1970’s. “Our education convinced us that we had a duty to make society a better place.”
For Gerry Burke, one of ten children, Boston State extended the moral compass and strong work ethic cultivated by his mother and father, a custodian. He continues his service to the university as a senior lecturer in modern Irish history.
Joan Moon, arrived as a relatively green professor when she joined the English faculty in 1964. She was humbled by the wisdom of the students she encountered, many who juggled many commitments alongside their undergraduate studies.
Boston State provided John Moon with a platform to exercise his commitments to effective faculty governance, due process and academic freedom. As president of the teacher’s union at the time of Boston State College’s discontinuance, he worked diligently to place his colleagues at other institutions of higher learning.
In concluding, Chancellor Motley said “Every year when we gather, there is a tremendous feeling of warmth and pride among the Boston State alumni, faculty and staff. Just as the college had a tremendous impact on your lives, its legacy also continues here at the University of Massachusetts Boston.”
To learn more about how to get involved with alumni activities related to Boston State College or to support the Boston State College Scholarship, contact Joe DeMedeiros at 617--287-5339.
Video of Ceremony
Posted by Joan D'Arcy Sheridan | Saturday, December 17 2011 at 10:39 am
Congratulations to Gerry Burke!