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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston community hit by the passing of Mayor Thomas Menino

Mayor Menino at 2012 Boston City Scholarship event

Boston’s longest serving mayor, Thomas M. Menino, passed away Thursday, Oct. 30 at 71 after an extensive battle with cancer.
Mayor Menino, who received a Bachelor of Arts in Community Planning at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1988, was one of the most cherished UMass Boston alumni.
“Mayor Menino has always been a champion on and for our campus… As perhaps the most recognizable of our alumni, he was our partner in many initiatives that benefit our students, such as Success Boston, and an impassioned advocate for our university,” wrote UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley in a heartfelt message to the University community.

Menino has been an advocate and a key player in improving Boston public education since he began his mayoral seat.

Officially the University of Massachusetts Boston stated, “His first two terms saw the creation of a sweeping improvement program for Boston Public Schools, which attracted funding from leading philanthropists. Under Menino’s watch, the city also developed the Boston Teacher Residency, recognized nationwide as a model for teacher preparation, and Success Boston, the college completion initiative co-chaired by UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley.”

Menino publicly stated, “The reason why I made education a priority is because of the mistake I made not going to college after I graduated from high school”.

Serving the City of Boston for over 20 years, Menino suffered from a great deal of illnesses during his time as mayor. Most notably his tumor that was removed from his back in 2003. In 2004 he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Type 2 diabetes in 2012, and in February of this year he was diagnosed with advanced cancer in his liver and lymph nodes.

In an interview, Menino stated that his battles with cancer were the most profound challenge of his life.

The source of the cancer was unknown and up until Oct. 23 he was receiving treatment for it at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Menino’s spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, released a saddened statement early on Oct. 30, “At just after 9:00am this morning the Honorable Thomas M. Menino passed into eternal rest after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his devoted wife Angela, loving family, and friends. Mayor Menino, the longest serving Mayor of the City of Boston, led our city through a transformation of neighborhood resurgence and historic growth — leaving the job he loved serving the city and people he loved this past January.”

Dot Joyce was not the only person to release a statement and  give  condolences to the family of Thomas Menino and the City of Boston.

Raymond Flynn, Menino’s predecessor who left office in 1993 to become the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, expressed, “Boston is a better city because of Tom Menino and the people of Boston are grateful for his commitment and service.”

Former United States Senator from Massachusetts and current Secretary of State, John, Kerry described the late Mayor’s contributions to the city of Boston, “Crime fell, population rose, the skyline became world-class, schools got better, the financial, academic, medical sectors all thrived and neighborhoods became more diverse.”

President Obama stated, “Bold, big-hearted, and Boston Strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved and led for more than two decades. As Boston’s longest-serving mayor, Tom helped make his hometown the vibrant, welcoming, world-class place it is today”.

Current Mayor Marty Walsh, who succeeded Tom Menino this year, expressed his condolences to the city of Boston as well, “Today the city of Boston mourns together […] No man possessed a greater love for our city, and his dedicated life in service of Boston and her people changed the face of the city.”

Menino was a hands on mayor and strived to improve the city’s education and infrastructure. Chancellor J. Keith Motley described him as, “a lion for our City of Boston.”

In his memoir Menino wrote, “I paid attention to the fundamentals of urban life, clean streets, public safety, good schools, neighborhood commerse […] Call my City Hall and you never got an answering machine. The people trusted the government because it heard them. Because they could talk to it. Because it kept its word.”

Looking back though, in another statement, “If I didn’t get my degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston, I would not have been the mayor of the city of Boston.”