UMass Lowell will inaugurate its new chancellor – the first woman to lead the university in its 121-year history – on Thursday, Oct. 22 at a ceremony that is one of several events showcasing the university and raising funds for student scholarships and applied learning opportunities.

The inauguration’s theme is “Making a Difference Together, Leading through Innovation,” a phrase that well summarizes Moloney’s approach to her work throughout her more than three decades at UMass Lowell. Moloney, who earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at UMass Lowell, has served in a variety of roles at the university. Those include dean of the Division of Online and Continuing Education, where she launched UMass Lowell’s award-winning online education operation 18 years ago, and founding director of the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services.

Most recently, Moloney was UMass Lowell’s executive vice chancellor, spearheading the strategic-planning process that resulted in the greatest period of growth at the university to date, including a 50 percent increase in enrollment and the opening of 11 new buildings.

As chancellor, Moloney is carrying that 10-year strategic plan, “UMass Lowell 2020: A Strategic Plan for the Next Decade,” forward with the input of faculty, students and staff gained via a variety of events and programs on campus and in the community that are part of her First 90 initiative. The #First90 effort also includes the 2020 Challenge Grant program that is providing $1,000 microgrants to those who have creative ideas to implement new efforts that advance the goals of the strategic plan.

Moloney, who is the third chancellor of the university, will be inaugurated at a ceremony at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 that is expected to draw more than 1,000 people, including faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as community leaders and other supporters of UMass Lowell.

At the event, Moloney will deliver an inaugural address and Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande – champion of entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for sustainable change and economic growth – will give the keynote speech. Deshpande, president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC and chairman of Tejas Networks, has launched and run several other companies, as well as co-founding the Deshpande Foundation and Merrimack Valley Sandbox at UMass Lowell. The annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, which he established with the university, brings participants from around the world to UMass Lowell every summer.

Speakers are also scheduled to include John Pulichino, a UMass Lowell graduate and successful entrepreneur after whom – along with his wife, Joy Tong – the university’s new business school building is being named, and Prof. Susan Braunhut, a nationally recognized expert on cancer diagnosis and treatment, limb restoration and regeneration, and biosensors for use in counter-terrorism efforts.

Other participants in the ceremony will include UMass President Marty Meehan, whom Moloney replaces as chancellor of UMass Lowell; Victor Woolridge, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees; Marcellette Williams, UMass senior vice president for academic and student affairs and international relations; state Sen. Eileen Donoghue; Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliott; City Manager Kevin Murphy; Patricia McCafferty, UMass Lowell vice chancellor of university relations; Joanne Yestramski, vice chancellor for finance and operations; UMass Lowell Provost Donald Pierson; UMass Lowell Student Trustee Amanda Robinson, a business administration major from Hingham; Student Government Association President James Christopher, a political science and philosophy major from Peabody; and Imogene Stulken, campus minister. The UMass Lowell Marching Band and UMass Lowell Gospel Choir will provide music for the event.

On the evening of Oct. 22, the university will host an inaugural gala in Moloney’s honor at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center that will serve as a fundraiser for the new Chancellor Jacqueline F. Moloney Endowed Scholarship. Information on tickets for the gala, as well as sponsorship opportunities, is available at www.uml.edu/Chancellor/inauguration/default.aspx. The inauguration is expected to raise more than $1 million for scholarships and applied learning opportunities for UMass Lowell students.

The inauguration ceremony and gala are among a number events over the week that will showcase the diversity of UMass Lowell’s academic, research, athletic and alumni programs. The events, all of which are part of the chancellor’s First 90 (#First90) initiative, include:
· DifferenceMaker Celebration – Participants in the DifferenceMaker Program, which Moloney founded to teach students in all majors entrepreneurial skills that they can use to develop innovative solutions to issues in business and the community, will gather to hear from Ron Insana, CNBC business analyst and commentator, and successful UMass Lowell alumni. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell.
· River Hawk Homecoming – UMass Lowell’s homecoming weekend will feature a host of activities for all ages, from sporting events and reunions – such as Moloney’s 40th, which includes a reception for the Class of 1975 on Friday, Oct. 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. – to the 17th annual Jennifer’s Fun Run/Walk and the “Hawkey Way” festival on the grounds of the Tsongas Center. Friday, Oct. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 25; full schedule available at www.uml.edu/homecoming.
· “Sounds of Portugal” concert – A performance of Portuguese folk music known as fado by musicians Ana Laíns, Santo Costa and Tô Neto will be presented by the Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Culture and Research. Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m., Durgin Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell.