Meehan Closes Committee, Donates $1 Million to UMass

UMass-Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan with Greater Haverhill Foundation Manager Ronald Trombley.

Then-UMass Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan, left, with Greater Haverhill Foundation Manager Ronald Trombley.

UMass President Marty Meehan announced Thursday he plans to close his congressional campaign committee, transfer funds from the committee to an educational foundation and make a $1 million scholarship donation to his alma mater, UMass Lowell.

“This is the right time to take this step because my priorities and passions so clearly are here at the University of Massachusetts and with its mission of excellence and transformation,” Meehan said. “On a personal level, this is an expression of gratitude as well as a statement of commitment. But the real significance of the gift will be seen in the opportunities it provides for students and in the impact they will have on the Commonwealth and the world,” he added.

Meehan said he will close the federal campaign committee he established when he first ran for Congress in 1992 – an action that signals the conclusion of a political career that began with a upset win for a U.S. House seat.

Meehan made the announcement as the first year of his presidency came to a close.

“I began my presidency one year ago meeting with students at UMass Boston, talking about the way UMass changed my life and discussing the importance of maintaining pathways to opportunity, and I want to end this first year with the same focus,” Meehan said.

Meehan represented the Fifth Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007, serving on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees.

The campaign account funds – about $4.35 million – will be transferred to an educational foundation that Meehan established in 2001 and over time will be donated to educational programs that “provide high-quality, transformative opportunities.” Meehan attended public schools in Lowell and graduated from UMass Lowell. The grant follows guidelines the Federal Election Commission has set in similar circumstances, such as when the late Congressman Thomas Lantos transferred his leftover campaign funds to a foundation that he had established. Meehan is naming the foundation for his parents, Martin and Alice Meehan, who stressed the importance of learning and guided five of their children into careers in education.

Prior to becoming president of UMass, Meehan served as UMass Lowell chancellor from 2007 to 2015. While chancellor, Meehan puts his weight behind Haverhill’s downtown Harbor Place project, agreeing to bring UMass Lowell to two floors of the commercial building at White’s Corner.

“Marty Meehan has made it clear that serving as the president of the University of Massachusetts is his utmost priority and this action reinforces that point,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “I appreciate President Meehan's generosity for directing this million-dollar donation to a scholarship fund where it will change the lives of UMass students for generations to come.”

Jacquie Moloney, who succeeded Meehan as chancellor, praised the donation.

“This gift moves me enormously, but it doesn’t surprise me,” she said. “I witnessed his dedication to improving our students’ lives on a daily basis. He is determined to make a lasting difference and he knows that investing in a UMass Lowell education is the best way to do so.”

2 thoughts on “Meehan Closes Committee, Donates $1 Million to UMass

  1. “This gift moves me enormously, but it doesn’t surprise me,” _

    IT’S NOT A GIFT! IT’S OTHER PEOPLES MONIES! For years he’s been sprinkling his political campaign contributions funds on his “friends” and some want to call this a “gift”? Holy F*@K!

    • No kidding huh ? Other people’s money is the mothers milk of politics. From the guy who got elected spouting term limits then breaks his pledge and runs again ! Not surprising at all.