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Celebrated Former Woburn Resident James L. “Jamie” McKeown ’77 Named Salem State’s 2023 Dr. Marilyn E. Flaherty ’54 Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient

James L. “Jamie” McKeown ’77, of Woburn and Winchester, has been posthumously named the 2023 recipient of the Dr. Marilyn E. Flaherty ’54 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Established by the Salem State University Alumni Association and Foundation, Inc., the award recognizes distinguished alumni for their outstanding professional accomplishments.

At Salem State’s annual Donor and Scholar Celebration, Denise McKeown accepted the award from President John D. Keenan on behalf of her late husband.

McKeown graduated from Salem State in 1977 with a degree in elementary education. After a short stint as a classroom teacher, he went on to work for Cummings Properties, eventually rising to president of the company until his unexpected passing in 1996 at the age of 41.

McKeown was an active member in his community, holding roles as director and former president of the Woburn Boys & Girls Club and director and president of the Woburn Business Association.

He was committed to creating opportunities for young people and had a deep-seated passion for education. His legacy continues to live on at Salem State through the recent naming of the McKeown School of Education by way of a $10 million gift from Cummings Foundation, as well as the naming of the McKeown Plaza on North Campus.  

“We are honored to remember our alumnus Jamie McKeown with this award,” said Associate Director of Alumni Relations Mike Mitchell ’07. “Our McKeown School of Education is closely tied to our region’s public schools, and we know that Jamie would be proud of the educators we’re graduating who are making a difference in our classrooms and communities. We will continue to honor his legacy at the university and beyond.”

To learn more about the alumni association or to nominate a graduate for an award, please visit   

Alumni Relations
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