An enthusiastic audience of some 630 recently accepted students gathered with their guests on Saturday for the second spring Welcome Day event in the Clark Convocation and Athletic Center on the UMass Boston campus.
They were greeted by the Beacons cheerleaders, and members of both the men’s and women’s UMass Boston hockey teams. They watched a video featuring the men’s squad, which won both the New England Hockey Conference regular season title and the NEHC tournament, and became the first team in program history to reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Men’s coach Peter Belisle was named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year. This demonstration of campus spirit set the tone for the rest of the day.
Highlighting the many academic, social and research opportunities for undergraduates, University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley challenged the crowd to pursue excellence by using their “golden ticket” to attend UMass Boston.
"Do you realize what Beacons do? They shine a light for others to follow, so that they can see through the darkness and find the right path forward," Motley said. "That is the type of leader we shape you to become when you join the University of Massachusetts Boston."
Welcome Day drew attendees from 29 states and also from India. “Our applicant pool has been steadily increasing in number, quality and geographic diversity, ” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management John Drew. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions received 14,000 applications from all 50 states, two US territories and 98 other countries, Drew said.
“This represents 7 percent more freshmen for the fall than last year” said Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Lisa Johnson. “Between both of this year’s Welcome Day events, we’ve been able to offer scholarships and invitations to the Honors College to 521 Chancellor Scholars and 327 out-of-state merit scholarship winners so far this year. That’s considerably more than we offered just last fall.”
The university also welcomed 140 scholarship winners and their guests at a special Scholarship Awards Breakfast prior to the main event. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston Langley welcomed the group, reminding them that they can become an important part of UMass Boston, which is one of only 350 designated research universities in the nation. Dean Rajini Srikanth of the Honors College introduced two student speakers, Shubbhankar Joshi ’17, and Chancellor Scholar Nurcin Celebi ’16 who shared their top reasons for choosing the University of Massachusetts Boston.