UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Father’s Devotion May Live On in Scholarship

Michael Beucler remembered as a loving father and friend.
Seane Greene
Michael Beucler remembered as a loving father and friend.

For most students, college can be a pretty selfish experience. Maintaining a decent grade point average, getting to class on time, often these aren’t things that require taking anyone else’s needs into consideration.

But, Michael Beucler’s experiences at UMass Boston were selfless from the moment he enrolled in classes. The forty-three-year-old College of Public and Community Service student began taking classes at UMB in the hopes of creating a better life for his young daughter.

Last semester, Beucler signed on as the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center assistant coordinator. The center holds three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on campus per week and its staff is available on a walk-in basis to members of the UMB community dealing with addiction and looking for information and support.

Two weeks ago, Michael Beucler passed away. According to Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center Coordinator Sean Greene, the cause of his death is unclear.

What is clear is that Beucler’s passing has left the university with one less eager student and his nine year-old daughter, Keri, without the father who had come to UMass with her best interest in mind.

“He was just a really amazing guy, and he didn’t become more than he was in death. He loved his daughter, he loved to help other people, and he loved to learn. He loved being a student,” says Greene of his colleague and friend.

“He’d kind of catch you off guard. He was like a big, built guy who’d come off as this tough guy and 10 minutes after you met him he’d be talking to you about C.S. Lewis or Robert Frost. He was just brilliant, ” Greene continues.

Beucler’s advisor, CPCS professor Vicky Steinitz, was among the hundreds of family and friends who attended his wake. She recalls his talent for writing, dedication to helping others, and the t-shirt that read “Keri’s Dad” that Beucler proudly adorned when running the Boston Marathon in 2001.

“He was a warm, lively, and larger than life character,” she says.

Greene cites Beucler as an enormous asset to the to the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center. “He was awesome to talk to whether it was me or anybody that needed to go in there. You’d have all this stuff going on and have your head spinning and you’d talk to him and he’d set you straight,” says Greene.

As a testament to his friend’s passion for learning and his devotion to his daughter, Greene hopes to start a scholarship that can contribute to Michael Beucler’s goals for his daughter.

“He adored his daughter. It was all about her, and he did everything he could to give her the best life possible,” says Greene who is working with Beucler’s family and Student Life to start a fund to ensure that Keri Beucler will have the opportunity to attend UMass Boston without financial burden when she is ready to attend college.

Although still in the early planning stages, Greene’s desire to make sure that nine year-old Keri doesn’t have to worry about her college tuition could help other children of the UMass Boston community as well.

“There are other UMass Boston students that maybe we could use this to launch a scholarship fund that could benefit the children of UMass Boston students who are either deceased or otherwise impaired from supporting their kids’ educational goals,” says Interim Director of Student Life Jain Ruvidich-Higgins.

“It’s a way of the UMass Boston family reaching out to the families of our students and keeping that connection strong. Letting them know that we consider them part of our family and we welcome them here, and if there’s something that we can do to make it easier for them to come here, we would like to try to do that,” she continues of the potential of such a scholarship.

Greene is pleased that his efforts to help his friend’s daughter may provide for others in similar situations. However, for now he remains committed to ensuring that the daughter Michael Beucler adored is afforded an education on the campus where her father worked so hard for her.

“His daughter was number one for him,” says Greene. “He’d love it if he knew she had that opportunity. So, I think that’s the best thing I can do for him.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the Michael Beucler Scholarship Fund can contact Sean Greene at the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center by phone at 617-287-7981, or via email at [email protected].