University of Massachusetts-Boston

100 Morrissey Blvd 
Boston MA 02125 

(617) 287-5000

University of Massachusetts Boston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
University of Massachusetts Boston
UMASSBOSTON ID blue.v2.png
Established 1852 Boston State College
1964 UMass Boston
Type Public
Chancellor J. Keith Motley, Ph.D.
President Robert Caret
Provost Winston Langley, Ph.D.
Academic staff 800-900
Students 15,741
Undergraduates 11,866
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
42°18'48?N 71°02'18?W? / ?42.313432°N 71.038445°W? / 42.313432; -71.038445Coordinates: 42°18'48?N 71°02'18?W? / ?42.313432°N 71.038445°W? / 42.313432; -71.038445
Campus Urban, 175 acres (0.7 km²)
Colors Pantone 7462     , and White     
Nickname UMass Boston
Mascot The Beacon

The University of Massachusetts Boston, also known as UMass Boston, is an urban public research university and the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts system.[1]

The university is located on 177 acres (0.72 km2) on what used to be known as the Columbia Point peninsula in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, but became known as Harbor Point in the 1980s after development. UMass Boston is the only public university in Boston. Students are primarily from Massachusetts but also from other parts of the United States and from foreign countries.


The University of Massachusetts Boston was established by vote of the State Legislature in 1964. Freshmen classes started for 1,227 undergraduate students in September 1965 at a renovated building in the Park Square area of downtown Boston. The Founding Day Convocation was held December 10, 1966 at the Prudential Center in Boston. John W. Ryan was installed as the university's first chancellor.[2] UMass/Boston is part of the Greater Boston Urban Education Collaborative,[3] In 1982 it merged with Boston State College (est. 1852).

In 1974, it opened its new campus at the Columbia Point peninsula on Dorchester Bay. The university originally occupied five buildings: McCormack and Wheatley halls, the Science Center, Healey Library, and the Quinn Administration Building.

The original Harbor Campus buildings were said to have had sparse and unattractive interiors, with odd mazes of hallways; the campus was known as "the fortress" or "the prison" colloquially.[4] They were rumored to have been designed by architects who were primarily familiar with prisons, although the library had been designed by the distinguished Chicago modernist architect, Harry Mohr Weese.[5] At one point in his career, Weese had designed the Metropolitan Correction Center in Chicago.

The contracting of the construction of the new Harbor Campus had resulted in a huge scandal.[6]

The Clark Athletic Center was added later, including an ice hockey arena, swimming pool, and basketball courts. It also hosted the first presidential debate between then Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore in 2000. The cancellation of two days of classes in order to create security for the debate resulted in a protest by UMB students, faculty, and staff members at the UMass President's office in downtown Boston.

In 2004 a new Campus Center was opened, designed by the Boston-based architectural firm of Kallmann McKinnell & Wood[7] and built by Suffolk Construction at a cost of $80 million. It houses offices, restaurants in a food court, event space, student clubs, and activities space. It also serves as the new entrance for the campus and was the first major building erected since the original Harbor Campus was built in the 1970s.

The original buildings fell into disrepair, and there are plans for replacement. Allegations of shoddy construction surfaced again in 2006 when the underground parking garage had to be closed because it had become