UMass Boston Honors Community Leaders at Annual Community Breakfast

Colleen Locke | March 22, 2017
Joyce Linehan ’96, ’04 (left) and Jean McGuire '61 with UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley

Joyce Linehan ’96, ’04 (left) and Jean McGuire '61 with UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley
Image by: Harry Brett

Policy Chief Joyce Linehan ’96, ’04 and Education Advocate Jean McGuire '61 Honored

Chancellor J. Keith Motley presented Joyce Linehan ’96, ‘04, chief of policy for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, with the Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership at the university's annual Community Breakfast Wednesday morning.

The lifelong Dorchester resident and UMass Boston alumna has held leadership roles in the political campaigns of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former Governor Deval Patrick, as well as the campaign for equal marriage in the commonwealth. She is an author, the co-owner of Ashmont Records, the founder of the Dorchester Arts Collaborative, and serves on the board of Interim House, a residential substance abuse treatment center.

“She has committed her life to the growth of Boston, and to the whole health and wellness of Dorchester in particular. The neighborhood is better for her; we are better as a university for her,” Motley said in presenting Linehan the Quinn award.

“I am a Dorchester girl,” Linehan said. “Dorchester is where I learned about community service. Any contributions I have made to Dorchester I have made because of all that Dorchester has given me.”

Recognizing the value of UMass Boston students, the American studies alumna worked with the Office of Career Services and Internships and Division of Government Relations and Public Affairs last year to develop the Mayor’s Office – UMass Boston Policy Research Fellowship.

“Without this place, I don’t think that I would have a college education,” Linehan said.

The Quinn Award was established in 1987 in honor of Robert H. Quinn, a former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former attorney general, and former chair of the UMass Board of Trustees. The award is presented annually by UMass Boston to honor individuals whose contributions have significantly improved the quality of life in the Boston area.

Motley then presented former Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) Executive Director Jean McGuire '61 with the Chancellor’s Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service. Touting her more than four decades in that position, as well as her fight against segregation and call for more African American teachers, Motley said McGuire is “an incredible public servant.”

“When you look at the young people that you share your lives with, just remember what you are is going to be passed on to them so that they can take care of this nation, this wonderful state,” McGuire said.

McGuire was the first African American woman elected to the Boston School Committee. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Boston Children’s Museum, Community Change, Inc., and the Black Educators’ Alliance of Massachusetts.

The first annual Chancellor’s Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service was given in 2006.

More than 200 people attended the community breakfast, including Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, State Representative Dan Hunt, State Senators Linda Dorcena Forry and Walter Timilty, Brockton City Councilors Shirley Asack and Anne Beauregard, City of Boston Chief of Staff Dan Koh, Former Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy, and Massachusetts Veteran Affairs Commissioner Francisco Urena.

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

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