Paula E. (Polly) Logan passed away on September 30, 2013. Polly was a dear friend and supporter of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies now School of Policy and Global Studies. She will be missed.
Polly was truly the quintessential mentor, and a great unifier, problem solver and believer in the talents of women, young persons, and minorities. Known as the “Grand Dame of Republican politics,” Polly was a dynamo in local, state, and national politics. She served as a Republican national and state committeewoman, vice chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and worked as a fundraiser and organizer for many candidates for public office. Her commitment to the Republican Party was reflected in her red, white, and blue political bumpers stickers that read “GOPolly.” She served as a trusted advisor to Governor Francis W. Sargent and a valued member of the Weld-Cellucci transition team.
Polly’s contributions were not confined to the Republican Party. They were also non-partisan and civic minded, with historic and long-lasting impact. She was a fierce proponent of social justice, civil rights, women’s rights, and public service in the context of a fiscally responsible government. She took on leadership roles in civic and nonprofit organizations that worked to ensure political and economic equality for all. Polly was a founder of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, a board member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and a board member of the League of Women Voters.
Polly mentored many women leaders, including former Governor Jane Swift and Bentley University President Gloria Larson. Polly also took time to counsel young women and, five years ago, at an anniversary celebration for the Program and Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, Polly spent much of the evening speaking with students and lending advice and encouragement.
In 2000, Polly’s friends and colleagues endowed a fund in her honor to support the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Polly understood well the mission of the center. She fought for economic and political equity for all women and wanted women to be educated about public policy making and to run for office. At the event marking the establishment of the Polly Logan Fund, Polly remarked, “I am thrilled that the center exists to nurture Massachusetts’ future female leaders…and that it reflects the values of my life’s work.”
Find out more about how it all started here at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.