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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Recognizes Community Leader

While most of campus lay empty last Thursday, the eleventh floor of the Healey Library was inundated with community members, state officials, and UMass representatives gathered for the sixteenth annual Community Breakfast. This year, the recipient of the Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community was the Reverend Dr. Bill Loesch.

Chancellor Gora welcomed the attendees and offered warm words of praise to Loesch before introducing the morning’s speakers: Senator Jack Hart, former House Speaker Robert Quinn, and UMass President William Bulger.

Senator Hart spoke on behalf of the Massachusetts State Senate, reading a proclamation recognizing Loesch’s leadership in the Dorchester community. Robert Quinn was on hand to present the award to Loesch, who received a standing ovation.

Loesch then introduced his family and discussed some of his work in the Boston area, giving anecdotes of his battles for the people of Codman Square and Columbia Point. He concluded by saying “I’ve always worked with the community, empowering community groups and grass roots groups. And that’s why I’m here today, for the work I did and continue to do now in Copley Square and Four Corners, as we continue to keep creating opportunities for people to work with everybody else, to make sure what’s being heard is what’s needed in the community.”

In a speech sprinkled with references to the impending budget cuts, University of Massachusetts President William Bulger commended Loesch. “Your example is selfless. It doesn’t seek to let the world know itself… your splendid achievements, your splendid actions, speak volumes about what motivates you. And it’s clear what motivates you: it’s a love of other people and a recognition of the special dimension that every single human being does enjoy by virtue of his or her humanity.”

Rev. Dr. Loesch’s involvement in the Dorchester area began in the 1960’s when he served as the Protestant chaplain for the Columbia Point Christian Center. He helped found the Geiger-Gibson Health center, as well as serving as Boston City Hospital’s director of pastoral care and education. Later Loesch worked as the coordinator for the Center for Community Health Education, Research, and Service at the Codman Square Health Center and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center. Along with his two youngest daughters, he continues to contribute to the Dorchester community through his involvement with Teens Against Tobacco and Breath of Life: Dorchester.