Salem State is now Salem State University
There is reason to cheer today [July 28, 2010] across this extraordinary campus of ours! Salem State has achieved the recognition it has long sought...soon we will be Salem State University!
Following passage earlier this month by the Massachusetts House and Senate, Governor Deval Patrick will sign into law today at 1 pm legislation conferring university status on Salem State and other state colleges as part of the new state university system. At the conclusion of a mandatory 90-day waiting period, we will officially become Salem State University on October 26.
Many of you were involved from the beginning when my predecessors, Nancy Harrington and James Amsler, first ventured to dare the dream. Thanks to their vision-and the yeoman's work done by Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry of Peabody, State Representative John Keenan of Salem, and the many alumni, staff and business leaders who wrote the Commonwealth's leaders on our behalf, we have achieved our goal.
This is a great and historic day in the long history of our institution. We wear our new university designation as a mantle of distinction and pride, as university status is not conferred lightly. Indeed, the establishment of the Massachusetts state university system has been an enormous undertaking and team effort. Our thanks to both Senator Berry and Representative Keenan, who have championed our hopes and dream each step of the way, are immeasurable. Because they believed, as we do, that a Salem State University will lead the growth and development of this region in many ways that will prove beneficial to Massachusetts-and because they were willing to work with us to ensure the passage of this historic bill-our day has finally come.
Does it really make a difference what we call ourselves? I believe it does, for a number of very important reasons.
The name Salem State University on our students' diplomas from this day on will provide the prestige employers looks for as our alumni compete for top jobs. It's a simple fact: the word university carries more significance both nationally and globally. As a university, we are now able to compete on the national and international stage for a larger and more diverse applicant pool. We are also better able to seek the highly credentialed and diverse faculty that will not only educate Massachusetts' and the nation's work force, but-through their research- provide the economic stimulation to drive the forward growth of the business and industry sector in this region.
As a teaching university, we are now in a better position to attract the private investment in our academic programs and the funding from non-state budget sources that our private colleges and universities have so long enjoyed. With the elevation in our status, we also become much more attractive to private grant makers and individual donors.
As a university, we can at last compete on the same footing with the higher education institutions in 45 states across the country that have already been accorded university status. The establishment of the Massachusetts state university system renames six of the original state colleges-Salem, Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Westfield, and Worcester-as state universities. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, although retaining their present names, will be a part of the new state university system as well.
While we have much work ahead of us, we are ready to take our rightful place in the region. We are also grateful for the support of so many. It is the collective work of our community, both on campus and off, that has brought us to this historic day. Let us take the time to savor the moment, and congratulate one another on this incredible achievement.
Today's victory belongs to all of us. Today, we are Salem State University.*
Patricia Maguire Meservey
*There is a mandatory 90-day waiting period before the name change--and the transition to a state university system--officially takes effect.
Salem State university designation was approved when Governor Patrick signed House Bill 4864.
Salem Statement Commemorative University Edition - Fall 2010
Read the fall 2010 Salem Statement Commemorative University Edition.