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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Former Governor Michael Dukakis and President William Bulger speak at UMass Boston

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From left to right: President Bulger and Governor Dukakis

Former three-term governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, along with former President of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts Boston, William Bulger, visited the University of Massachusetts Boston on Oct. 27 to speak to Professor of Political Science Erin O’Brien’s Honor’s class; a session which was followed by a dinner with the University administrators.
Hosted by the Honor’s College and the Political Science department of UMass Boston, the annual gathering was aimed at expressing gratitude toward Dukakis and Bulger for their contribution in the advancement of the University. The event also allowed Honor’s College students who are enrolling in the Mayor’s Symposium class to receive insights from these two commendable and influential figures in the public service arena and educational sphere.
Governor Dukakis and President Bulger discussed the value of public service, the significance of civic engagement, as well as the importance of young leaders’ contribution to the efforts of improving their communities.
In his opening remarks, Provost Winston Langley expressed that both Dukakis and Bulger have been motivational to him and sustained his conviction for public service. “We are here tonight to celebrate and learn from people whom we respect,” said Provost Langley.
Dukakis framed the importance of serving the community as something substantially critical for the city’s survival. “The community is very important, but we [will lose the community] if we do not focus on it,” said Dukakis.
Dukakis advised young leaders who are currently involved in their community to learn to make compromises, as it is key to their success. “You need to be able to reach consensus,” Dukakis said. “If you can identify the problem you get half of the solution.” He explained that in the process of trying to reach a consensus, one needs to learn how to bring people together first. “Identify their problems and listen to their voices.”
The Honor’s College students who are currently taking the Mayor’s Symposium class are working toward gathering communities, city, and state’s support to restore The Strand Theatre in Dorchester. The class is split into two policy teams, which will each present a paper and slide presentation to the mayor in December. The team’s recommendations will be ready for immediate implementation, as written by Vanessa DiCarlo in UMass Boston News.
Rajini Srikanth, the Honor’s College Dean, explained that the idea behind the Honor’s College Mayor’s Symposium and the Honor’s College in general is to bring people with different ideas to work together on a complex problem.
“At this crucial moment in the city’s history with a new mayor having just taken office, UMass Boston’s Honor’s College is excited to be contributing innovative approaches to addressing the city’s seemingly intractable challenges,” Srikanth said.
Dukakis, the longest-serving Governor in Massachusetts history, advised those who aspire to pursue a career in public service to be ready to make tough but necessary decisions. “If you want to be effective in public life you have to make a thoughtful choice and follow it,” he said.
In 1995, Governor Dukakis arranged for funds left over from his presidential campaign to be disbursed to UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, and Northeastern University to support public service internships for students.
Bulger, whose eighteen year tenure as President of the Massachusetts Senate is the longest in history, was praised by Professor O’Brien for his contribution to advancement of the University during his tenure as President. “From 1996 to 2003, the University’s reputation was boosted fundamentally,” stated O’Brien.
Both Dukakis and Bulger encouraged UMass Boston students, especially those who hope to pursue in politics or public service, to start getting involved the public sphere and try to gain as much as experience as possible.