UMass Dartmouth launches Congressman Barney Frank Archive initiative

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner joined by Former Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler and columnist E. J. Dionne headline fundraiser

UMass Dartmouth today officially launches efforts to create the Congressman Barney Frank Archive Collection on campus to promote the study of national issues in which Congressman Frank has played a major role. 
Friends and colleagues of the Congressman will gather at the Seaport Hotel in Boston tonight to raise money for the initiative. The event will feature former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and former Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler.  Columnist E. J. Dionne, a Fall River native, will moderate a private discussion on the state of the nation's economy and financial services sector. 

The 500-box Archive collection includes records related to the passage of the historic Dodd-Frank Law, as well as documents and artifacts from Frank's 40-year political career, which shaped national policy and debate from Main Street to Wall Street. This collection is comprised of materials related to finance reform, gay and civil rights, commercial fishing, housing, defense spending, immigration, consumer protection, and the environment. 

Upon his retirement from Congress in 2012, Congressman Frank donated his papers to UMass Dartmouth, which he represented, and has committed to visit campus twice yearly to share his experiences and perspectives with students.  The combination of his historical records and his visits offer students, faculty, historians, journalists, and citizens a valuable opportunity to learn about and engage in the issues. 

"Our recent financial crisis will unfortunately not be our last. That reality makes preserving the historical record and spurring further academic research on crisis prevention and response a critical imperative," said former Secretary Geithner. "Barney Frank was a key voice in our government's efforts to stem the panic in 2008 and a driving force in the sweeping reforms that followed. His archives will be a rich and valuable resource for both future policy makers and the public at large." 

"The Barney Frank Archive is a perfect fit for UMass Dartmouth, where students are encouraged to make civic engagement part of their learning and contribute nearly 200,000 hours of service to the community each year,'' said University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret, who is co-hosting the event with UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. 

"Barney has become a popular visitor to campus, teaching classes, debating groups of students over breakfast, and sharing a wealth of perspective on the biggest issues of the day," Chancellor Grossman said. 

"Having worked closely with Barney Frank over many years, I know him as a master legislator with a well-earned reputation for his intellect, wit and effectiveness," Mr. Gensler said. "Thanks to the donation of his papers, future generations will benefit from an inside look at his remarkable years of public service." 

"Barney Frank loves Fall River, New Bedford, and the other communities served by UMass Dartmouth--and they have loved him back,'' said Mr. Dionne. "They have loved his personal commitment to working people, his toughness, his intelligence, and his razor sharp sense of humor. It is fitting that his papers will be preserved and studied at UMass Dartmouth, a public university where students have demonstrated an uncommon dedication to civic engagement." 

"I want to thank Tim Geithner, Gary Gensler, and E.J. Dionne for continuing the conversation about the nation's financial system,'' Mr. Frank said. "Our economy very nearly collapsed six years ago, and these three individuals played a big role in coping with the crisis, and educating America. It is critical that we remember the challenges we faced so we don't repeat history." 

The event is co-chaired by former University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Chairman James Karam and UMass School of Law Director of Public Interest Law Programs John Quinn, a former state legislator, who worked closely with Congressman Frank on banking regulation. 

"From the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act to funding for the fishing and manufacturing industries, Barney Frank has always been guided by the concerns of the hard working people of his district. By giving his papers to UMass Dartmouth, he is giving generations an opportunity to learn how politics and policy affect real people," Mr. Karam said. 

Added Mr. Quinn: "Barney Frank will go down in history as a master at making sure the voices of Main Street are heard on Wall Street and in Washington. I know that our students will greatly benefit from studying his work." 

The Boston event is the first in a series of fundraising events to support the preservation and indexing of the archive materials so they can be accessible to students and historians.

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