The following text was provided by UMass-Lowell:
Eric Richards of Woburn was recently honored at the University of Massachusetts Lowell's second annual Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon.
Richards is majoring in mechanical engineering.
The celebration, held at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, brought together 300 generous individuals who have endowed scholarships and the students who have received them.
UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan told the donors and students in attendance that giving to scholarships and other areas of the university is important.
"We have to be entrepreneurial in our approach to ensuring the growth of UMass Lowell and private support is absolutely essential to that effort," said Meehan.
During the last academic year, 1,150 UMass Lowell students received more than $900,000 in scholarships. UMass Lowell reached a milestone of more than $54 million in endowment funds for student scholarships, professorships and academic program enhancements.
The Celebration of Scholarship Luncheon featured student speakers who shared the positive impact that receiving scholarships endowed by donors and their UMass Lowell education has had on their lives.
The speakers included Mary-Kathryn Hazel, a Commonwealth Honors student, who talked about how attending UMass Lowell has given her opportunities including studying in Northern Ireland and being selected as one of two students who asked a question of the candidates during the U.S. Senate debate held at UMass Lowell in October. Another student discussed how, when a family member was laid off, his scholarship ensured his college education would not be interrupted.
Many of the donors who have established scholarship funds are alumni of the university, who remember how important a helping hand is during college years; others are faculty and staff who work on campus and every day see the difference a UMass Lowell education makes to students.