Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined Interim Chancellor Barry Mills last week in welcoming freshman students who attended Boston Public Schools and earned merit-based scholarships to attend UMass Boston, calling them the “thinkers, the creators, and the leaders of the future.”
This fall, UMass Boston welcomed 194 new Boston City Scholars, representing 24 city high schools. The Boston City Scholars program provides annual $1,000 scholarships to qualified BPS students for up to four years.
“You have an unique opportunity here,” Walsh told the students. “The graduates of this school go on to do some incredible, great things. … They teach in these schools. They work for the City of Boston. They are nurses in our hospitals. They’re important because they help us move forward in this society.”
Over the past five years, the program has supported more than 660 Boston students with $1.25 million in aid.
Many of the students have also received additional merit scholarships.
- 15 students received Dean’s Scholarships ($7,500 each);
- 82 received Beacon Scholarships ($3,000 each), and;
- 13 received chancellor’s scholarships (full tuition and fees).
The largest freshman class in the history of UMass Boston enrolled this year — more than 1,850 students.
“I’ve watched this school change. And this class, the Class of 2021, more than any other class that’s come through UMass Boston, you have the opportunity to frame this school like no other,” Walsh said. “There’s so much new construction and new buildings over here that you’re going to be a part of. You’re here for a transformation of this university.”
Mills congratulated students for choosing UMass Boston, and pointed to the university’s strong partnerships with the city and its neighborhoods.
“UMass Boston is an important part of this city. This city is one of the special jewels of the world, and a big reason is because of work Mayor Walsh has done to ensure that academic institutions in this city prosper and do the great work that they do,” Mills said.
Junior Sonia Chien, a graduate of Boston Latin School, spoke to the freshmen about her college experience, calling UMass Boston “a truly uplifting, challenging, and inspiring place to learn.”
Through her work in the Honors College, Chien has focused on systemic challenges faced by poor and minority populations in the United States, and the ideal policy and social measures that may allow them to empower themselves.
“I have found UMass Boston an amazing place to grow, both personally and academically. I have formed many valuable relationships here that have informed where I want to go in life, and I encourage all of you to seek out those same connections,” she said.