UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Chancellor Motley inspires students with welcome address

Chancellor J. Keith Motley

Many students were inspired by Chancellor Dr. J. Keith Motley’s rousing speech during the Success Boston Welcome Reception, in which he urged the audience to always challenge themselves to reach the next phase of their life.

This reception, which was held in UMass Boston’s Campus Center Ballroom on Tuesday, Sept. 2, was the fifth reception hosted by Success Boston to welcome new and returning students.

Students said they left the reception with more motivation to continue to push themselves to reach for the highest level, and vowed to take the next step toward their academics and lives’ goals.

“Do not limit yourself,” Chancellor Motley said; implying that a student or an individual should always be motivated to improve himself to get to next phase of his life.

He gave himself as an example of someone who is still chasing his other personal goals and dreams despite holding the chancellorship of the University. “I am not done yet! I do not think this is it!” he said. “I still have other dreams that I want to fulfill,” he added.  

Student Askia Hanson called the Chancellor’s address “uplifting.” As he put it, “For someone like him, who holds such an enviable position at in academic institution as UMass Boston to say he still has other dreams that he wants to pursue is something inspirational and motivational.”

Hanson added that after listening to the Chancellor’s speech, he felt more motivated and positive. He said that he will be more determined when it comes to giving his all to achieve his academic goals and chase his dreams. “This speech really gave me an extra boost.” 

Hanson is a recent graduate of Bunker Hill Community College in sociology who transferred to UMass Boston this fall.

Tucker Gaye, a Junior majoring in political science and communication here at UMass Boston, expressed his wonderment at the Chancellor’s address. “He is always on point,” Gaye said. “He is full of energy. He is making direct eye contact with you.” Tucker continued to say that whenever the Chancellor opens his mouth you can tell he is going to say something to motivate you or to make you feel belong here on campus.

“The presence of the Chancellor was instrumental,” said Liliana Mickle, the coordinator of the Success Boston Initiative at UMass Boston.

“He was interacting with the audience, engaging the students and shaking hands with everyone,” Mickle added.

Mickle said Chancellor Motley is someone who believes in students, and in their success; “that is why he makes himself so available,” she said.

In fact, the Success Boston College Completion Initiative is a city-wide program which aims to increase college graduation rates among Boston Public Universities. The program provides support, academic programming and college advising activities through coaches and nonprofit partners that work closely with students to ensure that they succeed.

Chancellor Motley encouraged students to take advantage of the Success Boston Initiative. “Do not be the person who does not take advantage of this program,” he said.

The reception ended with Ambitious Men Engaged in Necessary Dialogue (AMEND) group giving awards in recognition of outstanding academic coaches and faculty members for having played a significant role in their lives and in the academic journeys of group members, as well as other students on campus.

AMEND is one of the services provided to the University community through the Success Boston Initiative. Their goals aim to build a stronger brotherhood through sharing common struggles, giving back to the communities they hail from and completing their educational college degree.

The recipients of these awards included Joan Becker (Vice Provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies at the University), Mickle, Success Boston coach Emily Singer, and Freedom House Coach Malcolm Thomas.

There were also awards for active members of the AMEND planning committee. The recipients of these awards included Success Boston Initiative peer mentor and group founder Manuel Monteiro, as well as Ravie Uditnarain, Elwin Castillo, Winston Pierre, and John Khan.