Vets Graduate From Upward Bound

Gin Dumcius

Thirteen veterans of all stripes, cheered on by family, friends, and faculty, proudly strode across the Chancellor’s Conference Room to receive their certificates and congressional citations to become graduates of Veterans Upward Bound, a fifteen-week course designed to help veterans brush up on skills needed to prepare them for higher education.

“You’ve exceeded our expectations,” said Director Mary Stone, calling it a “special evening,” and later adding that this class, from entrance testing to exit testing, had improved the most of any she’s had, and “set the standard for the next class.”

The ceremony was dedicated to Mary Gallagher, who was part of the program, but got called back into active duty to her reserve unit in Springfield, and deployed to Germany to help with the war in Iraq. She reportedly still keeps in touch with the group via e-mail, something which highlights the close knit nature of the small group of graduates thanks to the intensive program. “I haven’t felt this way since the military,” said graduate Gregory Errico.

Dr. Jack Looney of UMass Boston’s Earth & Geographic Sciences Department likened it to “another form of basic [training].”

Congressman Stephen Lynch, of Massachusetts’s 9th Congressional District, had a representative on hand to deliver congressional citations to each of the graduates. The representative, Dan Lynch, said the congressman was a supporter of the program, and understood “how difficult it is to be a vet.”

UMass Boston’s Associate Vice Provost for Academic Support Services Dr. Joan Becker brought greetings on behalf of the university, and thanked them for serving their country, and for their sacrifice.

“There are times that you feel that you can’t take it anymore,” said keynote speaker Phillip Glynn about the program. Glynn, a summer 1997 graduate, and a Health and Safety Compliance Officer at the Department of Labor, in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), added: “You just have to get through it.”

Armed with their certificates, presented by Retention Advisor Barry Brodsky and Outreach Advisor Marybeth O’Sullivan, graduates will go out into the world with plans ranging from pursuing a dream of writing a book, to getting a degree in nursing at UMass Boston.

Veterans Upward Bound is located in the McCormack Hall, on the third floor, room 704. More information can be obtained there or online, at: The program is held three times a year, in fifteen-week cycles, Monday through Thursday nights.

Part of a federal program, its mission includes providing “men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces an opportunity to acquire the skills and motivation necessary for the pursuit of post-secondary education” and “a forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas in order to improve veterans’ education opportunities and services, maintain a high quality of services, and continue professional development of all staff.”Veterans Upward BoundSpring 2003 GraduatesBruce BickerstaffBetty Jean CollierGregory ErricoJames FallicaDavid FrenchBrodie HaithMathew HoffmanWesley HustonWilliam JohnsonRichard Tobin, Jr.David TrzeciakJohn WeedenDonald Windettsource: Veterans Upward Bound