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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Get Carter (Award)

Clark University was recognized last week for contributions to its local community as former First Lady Rosalynn Carter came to UMass Boston to present the Carter Partnership Award.

“This is a great opportunity” for universities, she said.

Carter called on everybody to get involved with a cause. “Everyone can find a cause that needs help,” she said, adding there are people who want to help in the community but don’t quite know how to get started.

Carter said that when she and her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, get involved with a cause, it never turns out to be a sacrifice. “It always turns out to be a blessing,” she said.

The award, consisting of $10,000 and recognizing partnerships between colleges and their surrounding communities, was presented to Clark University President John Bassett, for the university’s work in the Main South neighborhood, helping with the Worcester area’s aesthetic rehabilitation, home ownership, public safety, economic development, and the creation of jobs in the area.

“We’re thrilled,” said Clark University President John Bassett, moments after sharing the stage with Carter. “We put a lot of work into the community. It’s great to see it get recognition. We hope that other colleges in America do the same thing.”

UMass Boston is a great citizen as well, he said, noting that first half of his career was spent at a public university much like UMass Boston. “UMass Boston is very important to the community,” he said.

In his remarks to the crowd of nearly 400 people seated in the Campus Center ballroom, UMass President Jack Wilson acknowledged the same, noting that UMass Boston is the “most diverse campus” with a “special mission” in the state.

Wilson also took time to praise the new Campus Center, which opened last April. “This Campus Center symbolizes what students can be,” he said. “This symbolizes how far they can go.”

With its “countless partnerships” in the community, UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley stated that the university is “also building on the legacy of Bob Quinn,” the former Massachusetts Speaker of the House, and for whom the campus’ Quinn Building is named. Motley singled out the College of Community and Public Service for specific praise in that particular area.

Out of the 21 applicants for the award, the decision came down between three finalists. Mount Holyoke College’s entry was the Possible Selves Partnership, with the non-profit Girls Inc., which gives teenage girls in the inner-city opportunities they normally wouldn’t have. The Wentworth Institute of Technology, which shares a strip in Boston with Northeastern University and the Massachusetts College of Art, was also a finalist for its Mission Hill/Fenway Technology Collaborative with the non-profit Mission Main Resident Services Corporation, with the aim of helping low-income people build community and acquire technological skills.

Among the applicants were several UMass projects. UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies had its Center for Social Policy link a computer system with local governments to help address homelessness. UMass Dartmouth and Bristol Community College had a SouthCoast Education Compact to look at education levels on Massachusetts’ South Coast region. The Dartmouth campus had a separate project with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth to design affordable solar homes. UMass Lowell had a partnership with the Middlesex Community College, Lowell Public Schools, and the Irish Colleges of Education to bring in Catholic and Protestant student teachers from Ireland to work in the public schools in summer programs.

The Carter Partnership Award was put together in Massachusetts by UMass Boston and the Massachusetts Campus Compact, a non-profit group of over sixty college presidents that looks to strengthen ties between campuses and their communities.