The University

Welcome back


The beautiful University of Massachusetts Boston campus sprang to life with energy and excitement yesterday as we kicked off a new academic year, welcoming nearly 16,000 new and returning students.

I thank Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Patrick Day and our staff and volunteers who helped organize the Welcome Week festivities and who have put together a series of events around the theme “UMass Boston: Your Social Network.” Over the next couple of weeks, we will be hosting a series of activities, from an open-market vendor fair to the annual Beacons Block Party. Check out the schedule of events for a full preview.

Welcome Week events culminate on Thursday, September 13, with Fall Convocation, held in the Campus Center Ballroom. I will be giving an address on our university’s accomplishments and direction, and keynote speaker Rosemarie Day, former deputy director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, will discuss how, despite the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, health care reform in the United States continues to hang in the balance.

I also want to make you aware of another very special event. On Wednesday, September 19, WBZ Radio’s Dan Rea, a UMass Boston alum, will host on campus a live two-hour broadcast of his public affairs program, NightSide with Dan Rea. The show will air from 8 to 10 p.m. from the Ryan Lounge. Rea will discuss the presidential and U.S. Senate races with guests, including UMass Boston Political Science Professor Maurice Cunningham and Associate Professor Erin O’Brien. Students, staff, and community members are invited to attend; registration for the event is now open on the WBZ website.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful start to the academic year, and I look forward to working with you on the challenges and opportunities 2012-2013 will present.