Following a rousing rendition of the National Anthem by Jacsonn Jean, and an interpretation of the new Alma Mater by the UMass Boston Chamber Singers, Chancellor J. Keith Motley addressed UMass Boston students, faculty, and staff at the 2016 Convocation ceremony Thursday.
The chancellor spoke on the theme of excellence, and the ways in which individuals can take it upon themselves to bolster the excellence of the university as a whole.
“Our university will continue to move forward and overcome any obstacles in our way with excellence in our sights,” said Motley. “The excellence we have pursued for five decades remains at the center of our pursuits today.”
He noted that recent rankings point to the university’s continued academic excellence, including a rank of 220 in U.S. News and World Report’s top-tier listing of national universities. The magazine also ranked UMass Boston 31st in the nation for ethnic diversity, and 59th for economic diversity.
Motley acknowledged individual faculty members for their excellence, including Fulbright scholar Angela Stone-MacDonald. He also recognized 41 new faculty members, 20 newly tenured faculty, and six faculty who were promoted to full professor positions.
The chancellor recognized that ongoing building projects on campus will continue to pose challenges for commuters, but praised the new University Hall, the progress on the Utility Corridor and Roadway Relocation project, and the plans for new residence halls in 2018.
Motley encouraged the full UMass Boston community of students, faculty, and staff, to look within themselves for inspiration in the coming year.
“We don’t need any outside entity to tell us what excellence is,” Motley said. “Our excellence comes from within, from who we are.”