News 2013: Grossman inaugurated: Chancellor calls for UMass Dartmouth to strengthen its role as an "anchor institution"

News 2013: Grossman inaugurated: Chancellor calls for UMass Dartmouth to strengthen its role as an "anchor institution"
Grossman inaugurated: Chancellor calls for UMass Dartmouth to strengthen its role as an "anchor institution"

Makes case for comprehensive K-12 partnerships, more attention to regional health disparities; and accelerated technology transfer

Ceremony archived at 

Nearly 1,000 guests, including UMass President Robert Caret, Congressman Bill Keating and the chancellors of every UMass campus, as well as students, faculty, neighbors in the community and delegates from more than 60 colleges and universities, came together yesterday at UMass Dartmouth's Main Auditorium to celebrate the formal Inauguration of Chancellor Divina Grossman. 

in her remarks, Chancellor Grossman said, "My most salient discovery in the last nine months is the bold and extensive imprint of UMass Dartmouth and our faculty who are engaged teachers and caring mentors on the lives of individuals who grew up here in the SouthCoast." 

The eighth leader of UMass Dartmouth and its predecessor institutions in our 118-year history, Dr. Grossman reflected on the University as "a beacon of hope and educational opportunity" and said, "UMass Dartmouth must strengthen its role as an anchor institution in this region, as an intellectual catalyst and instrument for economic, social, cultural, and civic engagement." 

UMass President Robert Caret discussed the University system's "land-grant mission of commitment to providing quality teaching, excellent research, and effective public service," and UMass Dartmouth's role providing "access and high quality education to a wide variety of cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth and beyond." 

UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas III turned to Chancellor Grossman, saying, "We applaud the work that you have already accomplished here at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and we look with great hope to the future of the University under your enthusiastic and visionary leadership." 

Brief remarks and greetings were offered by Professor Grant O'Rielly on behalf of faculty and Colin Murphy '14, President of the Student Government Association, on behalf of the student body. 

Other speakers included Mark Rosenberg, President of Florida International University, who is Dr. Grossman's mentor; Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who is Dr. Grossman's collaborator and friend; Congressman Bill Keating; Senator Mark Montigny; and Representative Chris Markey. 

Also in attendance were Chancellor Grossman's family: her husband, Dr. Joel Grossman and daughters Regina and Claire. 


In a ceremony inspired by centuries of tradition, a procession of robed officials, leaders and delegates featured Chief Marshal Professor Barry Haimson, bearer of the ceremonial mace, the traditional symbol of campus. Chancellors emerita Dr. John Brazil and Dr. Jean MacCormack passed the formal Chancellor's Medallion chain of office to president Caret, who bestowed it on Chancellor Grossman. The national anthem was sung by Nia Welker '13, followed by an invocation offered by state Treasurer Steve Grossman. 

Chairman Thomas read the Official Charge of Office, repeated by Chancellor Grossman taking her oath of office as Chancellor:   

I will work with all my ability 
and all the powers now being conferred upon me 
to further the cause of knowledge, 
foster the pursuit of excellence, 
and insure that the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 
fulfills its educational mission. 

The ceremony was brought to a close with a benediction offered by UMass Dartmouth Chaplain Rev. David Frederici and the singing of the "Alma Mater" by the UMass Dartmouth Chorus. 


The Chancellor's Medallion was designed and created by the faculty and students of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, led by Professors Alan Burton Thompson and Susan Hamlet of the Artisanry Department. Made by hand out of bronze and brass with 14 gold-plated medallions representing the eight schools and colleges of the University and its six predecessor institutions, this chain of office is now part of the Chancellor's Medallion. The medallions were first cast in plastic on a 3D printer used in Professor Thompson's classes this spring. As a symbol of the legacy of leadership, Dr. John Brazil (chancellor from 1984-1992), the current holder of the Chancellor's Medallion passed it to Dr. Jean MacCormack (chancellor from 1999 to 2012) before being bestowed on Chancellor Grossman. 


The cermonies also featured the world-class musical talent of students and faculty, under the leadership of Fulbright fellow and ethnomusicologist Professor royal hartigan. Campus musical groups featured on Thursday included: the UMass Dartmouth Kekeli Ensemble, directed by Professor Kwabena Boateng; the UMass Dartmouth Steel Pan Ensemble, directed by Professor Jamie Eckert; the UMass Dartmouth Gamelan Ensemble, directed by Professor I.M. Harjito; the UMass Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, directed by Professor Tobias Monte; Professor Jing Wang and Professor Weihua Zhang; and the UMass Dartmouth Chorus directed by Professor Tianxu Zhou. 


Political leaders attending the ceremony included: Congressman William Keating (D-Bourne); state Treasurer Steven Grossman, who offered the invocation; Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford); Representative Christopher Markey (D-Dartmouth); and Representative Robert Koczera (D-Acushnet) 

Members of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees included: Henry Thomas, Chair of the Board; Maria Furman '76, Vice Chair; Alyce Lee; Norman Peters; Mardee Xifaras; Joshua Encarnacion '14 Student Trustee from the UMass Dartmouth campus, as well as our former Board of Trustees Chair, Robert Karam '71 '91Hon. 

The chancellors of the four other UMass campuses included: UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subaswamy; UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley; UMass Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan; and UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins. 

Former UMass Dartmouth chancellors Drs. Jean MacCormack and John Brazil attended, as did UMass Amherst Chancellor emerita Dr. Marcellette Williams. 

Leaders of other colleges and universities included: Presidents Dana Mohler Faria of Bridgewater State University; Jack Sbrega of Bristol Community College; Charles Wall of Massasoit Community College; and John Cox of Cape Cod Community College.  Also present were Presidents Susan West Engelkemeyer of Nichols College; Donald Farish of Roger Williams University; Patricia Meservey of Salem State University; James McCarthy of Suffolk University; and Peter Tsaffaras of Quincy College.     

Dr. Divina Grossman was appointed Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth by the Board of Trustees on April 19, 2012, and began her service to the University on July 1, 2012. 

Since her arrival on campus, Dr. Grossman has ushered in a spirit of open communication and inclusive decision-making focused on student success, research development, and civic engagement that benefits students and the community. 

Her early initiatives have included regular email messages to students, faculty, and staff; meetings with alumni and civic leaders; and the launching of social networking efforts to connect daily with the University community. 

Prior to joining UMass Dartmouth, she was the Founding Vice President for Engagement at Florida International University in Miami where she had previously served as Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Nursing. 

At Florida International University, Dr. Grossman established the Office of Engagement to provide leadership in implementing the FIU vision of "a public research university that is locally and globally engaged." Dr. Grossman directed the development of major FIU partnerships to improve K-12 education, advance the life sciences and biotechnology industry, and expand internship and service 
learning programs. 

As Dean, Dr. Grossman spearheaded the expansion of academic programs in Nursing and Health Sciences; created multi-institutional partnerships with community and state colleges, universities, hospital corporations and foundations; raised approximately $12 million for scholarships, laboratory and equipment, and faculty support; and multiplied seven-fold the College endowment. She significantly increased faculty research; collaborated in the development of the new FIU College of Medicine, the Academic Health Center, and the inter-professional, community-based curriculum for Neighborhood HELP; and completed a $34 million building for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. 

Dr. Grossman holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Nursing. She has served as a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's National Advisory Council for the Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. Her research is in the areas of blood pressure rhythms and cultural competence.