- A commitment to sustainability
In 2019, the Princeton Review named UMassD as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges for the 8th year in a row. As part of its efforts to create a robust ecosystem of sustainable initiatives, the university launched the largest public battery storage system in Massachusetts and signed a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
- The first graduate
Arthur Ashley: The first recipient of a baccalaureate degree from New Bedford Textile Institute in 1950.
- The first Ph.D.
Gwo Guin “Chris” Lee was first student to complete the doctoral program in electrical engineering in 1997. His dissertation led to improvements in mammogram techniques for earlier detection of tumors.
- Torch relay #1
On February 17, 1965, students held a torch relay from campus to the Massachusetts State House in opposition of the Willis-Harrington Report, which proposed to limit SMTI to technical majors, eliminating arts and humanities.
- 200 feet of concrete
The campanile is made of over 200 feet of poured concrete. An important element in architect Paul Rudolph's design, it created a challenge for contractor Leo E. Viens, Sr., who was hired in 1970 to build it. He devised a plan to pour concrete into a form that was lifted up by a crane. It took six months to complete.
- Eat your greens
Salads on campus contain fresh lettuce and herbs grown using hydroponic, vertical growing technology developing by Freight Farms in a climate-controlled trailer right on campus.
- Mr. President?
On the election trail, presidential candidates Jimmy Carter in 1975, George McGovern in 1984 campaigned on campus.
- Innovate and create
At the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, start up companies can find resources, business services, and other supports to help their ideas come to life.
UMassD is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a national university. UMassD first appeared in U.S. News rankings in 1998.
Arnie the Corsair become our mascot in 2010.
- Welcome, ladies
New Bedford Textile School opened day and evening classes to women in 1937.
Dr. Omer E. Boivin, a Fall River physician, established the Boivin Center for French Language and Culture to promote the teaching and appreciation of French culture in 1985.
- Elton John
The abstract painting of Elton John that hangs outside the entrance to the bus stop in the Campus Center was created by performance painter Denny Dent in a live show in November 1996.
- Marine science
Capitalizing on our location near the nation's top fishing port, The School for Marine Science and Technology was established in 1998. The first lab facility in New Bedford was completed in 1997.
- Bridging the Atlantic
The College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and experiences through Bridging the Atlantic, a program in partnership with the University of the Azores in Portugal where students and faculty conduct research and provide health education to vulnerable populations.
- Torch relay #2
On March 24, 1982, students led another successful torch relay from campus to the State House, this time to "Save SMU" from a reduction in the state's funding allocation. Ultra-marathoner and Professor Richard Hogan ran the whole 62 miles.
- The first bioengineers of UMass
UMassD's bioengineering undergraduate program launched in 2011 was the first offered in the UMass system.
- Early days of UMass Law
UMass Law was originally incorporated as Southeastern Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Avins Law School in 1981 and offered weekend classes in various locations in Fall River. It wasn't approved to confer Juris Doctor degrees until 1988.
- With honors
The newly established Honors College challenges academically talented students across all majors through seminars, discussions, and collaborative projects in and out of the classroom.
- The Swain homestead Originally the only building occupied by the Swain School, founder William Swain bequeathed his homestead at 391 County Street in New Bedford to the school in 1858. Swain Free School opened in this building in 1882, offering classes in English, history, German, French, and design and industrial art. It was completed destroyed by fire on March 13, 1948.
- Rev. Lawrence Lectures
Inspiring presentations about service and community are the mission of the annual Rev. Robert Lawrence Lecture, named for the spiritual leader of the SouthCoast community and UMassD. Past guests include Mitch Albom and a presentation of NPR's The Moth.
- Taking it to the hoop
The women's basketball team made a historic run for the NCAA Division III National Championship, reaching the quarterfinals in 2017, recording the program's first win over a nationally ranked team, and a single-season win record (25).
- Supporting women
Center for Women, Gender, & Sexuality opened in 1970 as the Women's Referral Center and is the second oldest collegiate women’s center in the country.
- Go for the gold
The Corsair Olympics, a back-to-campus competition between residence halls has been a long-standing student favorite. In 1980, it was a part of Spring Weekend festivities.
- Capri Motel
Capri Motel on route 6 housed temporary administrative offices for SMTI during construction until 1966.
- The pursuit of justice begins
When the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved UMass Dartmouth's plan to offer law degrees in 2010 and the Southern New England School of Law donated its assets to UMassD, the state's first public law school was created at UMass Law.
- Before Ring Road
Before LARTS (Group I) building opened on the Dartmouth campus in 1966, classes were held in locations in Fall River and New Bedford.
- Sick day
During the influenza epidemic of 1917, classes at Swain were interrupted. There was not sufficient student work the following year for an exhibition, but after the war, attendance began to increase.
The Corsair football team posted a perfect 11-0 regular season record in 2002, earning a first bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. With Cressy Field unavailable that year, home games were played at Dartmouth and Bishop Stang high schools.
- On your mark…
Peter Kuchinski captured the inaugural SMU Cross Country Invitational in 1973. The Corsairs placed second overall.
- New co-workers
The 1964 merger of New Bedford Institute of Technology and Bradford Durfee College of Technology brought together 44 full-time faculty in eight departments from NBIT and 39 full-time faculty in seven departments from BDCT.
- Barney Frank
UMass Dartmouth is home to the papers of former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. The majority of the collection documents his U.S. congressional career from 1980 to 2012, including local records and national records on issues of financial reform, gay rights, the housing crisis, immigration reform, military spending, and environmental protection.
- Tonight's musical guest
Annual concerts over the years featured some of the biggest names in music, among them: Ziggy Marley, They Might Be Giants, Aimee Mann, Livingston Taylor, John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band, De La Soul, Outkast, and Ludacris.
- O Christmas tree
In 2010, the College of Visual and Performing Arts was selected to create Christmas ornaments to be displayed on the White House Christmas tree. The designed ornaments represented the state of Massachusetts and SouthCoast.
- Opening Night
In 1966, the theater program was formally launched as the SMTI Dramatic Society by Angus Bailey. "The Crucible" and "Kiss Me Kate" were among the first productions. Bailey was the director until 1999.
- Balsam, Spruce, & The Grove
Our newest residence hall will open in Fall 2020, featuring two main residences for first-year students (Balsam and Spruce) and a new dining facility at The Grove for the entire community.
From 1972 to 1996, the annual Eisteddfod folk festival in the fall attracted national and international attention. It was the brainchild of former design professor Howard T. Glasser. Eisteddfod is a Welsh word meaning “a gathering of bards and minstrels.”
- Final Four
In 1992, the men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four, capping a 25-6 season. It was the first appearance by the Corsair basketball team in national Division III finals. Stephen Haynes was named National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III All-America for the first of two seasons.
- Rock on
Many rock n' roll icons have descended upon Ring Road to perform at student concerts: Aerosmith, The Joe Perry Project, J. Geils, Charlie Daniels Band, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, The B-52s, The Clash, 311, and The Tubes, to name a few.
- Under the lights
The first night game at Cressy Field was played on April 16, 2008, a 19-0 Corsair victory over Emerson College in men's lacrosse.
- History of art at UMassD
The Swain School of Design was established as the Swain Free School of New Bedford in 1881 through the provisions of the will of New Bedford philanthropist and shipping and oil magnate William W. Swain. In 1902 the trustees redefined its mission as a School of Design, and in 1988 Swain merged with SMU's College of Visual and Performing Arts.
- UMassD in Space
Scott Tingle '87, a NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain, was a flight engineer on the International Space Station for 168 days, living and working in low-Earth orbit as a part of the Expedition 55 crew in 2019.
- The heart of campus
The Claire T. Carney Library opened in 1972 as the Library Communications Center. A major renovation in 2013 resulted in its use today as the central location for collaborating, learning, and study.
- $200 In 1959, tuition at New Bedford Institute of Technology was $200 per year for residents and $250 for non-residents. International student tuition was $500.
- SMTI Coffeehouse
The SMTI Coffeehouse was created to connect with the community in the 1960s and 1970s. Until the first buildings were completed on campus, events were held at the Quaker Community Building on Main Road in Westport.
- Humanities Lecture Series Beginning in 1964, the Humanities Lecture Series brought engaging speakers to campus, including Dr. Benjamin Spock, Sen. William Fulbright, and Margaret Mead.
- Acts of 1895
Chapter 475 of the Acts of 1895 enabled the mayor of any city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with 450,000 spindles or more in operation to file for incorporation of a textile school, resulting in our predecessor institutions, New Bedford Textile School and Bradford Durfee Textile School.
- The Torch is lit
The "SMTI Torch" debuted as the new student newspaper in March 1965. It was named for the February torch relay to Boston to defeat the Willis-Harrington report that sought to limit studies to technical courses only.
The UMass Dartmouth campus was designed by renowned architect Paul Rudolph in his signature brutalist architectural style. Brutalism gained popularity in the mid 1950s and 1960s and is characterized by simple, block-like structure with recurring elements and often made of concrete or other simple, bare building materials.
- Alternate Education Day On October 18, 1989, 21 busloads brought a group of 2,900 students, alumni, faculty, and administrators filled Boston Common with students from other state college campuses to protest a $35 million cut to the state's higher education system. Most classes were canceled so students could attend "Alternate Education" Day. In the end, the cut was reduced to $25 million.
- Frederick Douglass Unity House
For 25 years, the Frederick Douglass Unity House has cultivated an environment that nourishes the academic, cultural, informational, and social/communal needs of students, faculty, and staff of color. Programs and events have provided opportunities for the university to celebrate and learn about our students' rich diversity.
- Cathy Carnes
Cathy Carnes became the first female Corsair athlete to earn All-America honors at the 1981 NCAA Division III National Championship in cross country.
- Rudolph's tree
In his desire to preserve the natural beauty found on campus, architect Paul Rudolph requested that a tree be protected during the construction of the LARTS (Group I) building.
The first Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute commencement ceremony to take place in Dartmouth in 1966 conferred degrees upon 219 students.
- Tripp Athletic Center
The gymnasium/natatorium was named in honor of former coach, athletic director, moderator of athletics and textile science professor Francis Tripp in 1979.
- Elephants! The 1989 Spring Jam featured live elephant rides on campus.
- 12 Strong
History professor Brian Glyn Williams's book "The Last Warlord," about the relationship between Uzbek horse warriors and Special Forces team in Afghanistan, served as a resource for the 2018 movie "12 Strong: The True Declassified Story of the Horse Soldiers." Williams, an expert on U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and author of five other books on the war on terror, served as an advisor to the movie's cast.
- Faculty Federation
The Faculty Federation, formed in 1970, was the first American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) bargaining unit at a four-year institution in the country. Anthony John was the first president and co-founder.
- First All-Americans
David Hill '76 and Peter Smith '74 were the first Corsair All-American athletes, earning honors in 1975 for 110-meter hurdles and cross country, respectively. Most recently, Nakira Examond '19, George Papoulis '20, and Jordan Entwistle '21 received the title.
- Swain's catalogs
Swain's academic catalog covers were designed by students as a part of an annual competition. In the 1910s, the best cover art won $10. Many of the covers are on linoleum, woodblock, or silkscreen prints.
- Lucky Lady
Lucky Lady is UMassD's research vessel, which is available for exploring Buzzard’s Bay, the Islands, and Cape Cod Bay for faculty and student research projects.
- Tennis anyone?
In 1967, the SMTI men's tennis team posted a perfect 12-0 season under Coach Gerry Aillery and finished 9th at the NAIA Nationals.
- Expanding our community
In Fall 2018, UMassD welcomed over 200 students from Mount Ida College after the former private liberal arts college ceased operations at the end of the 2018 Spring semester.
- The first season
The 1966-67 sports season was the first at Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute with basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, fencing, tennis, and track offered.
- Alex Haley
Alex Haley, Pulitizer Prize-winning author of "Roots," was the highlight of Human Rights Week events in 1983.
- We are the champions
An exclusive club of eight Corsair athletes have taken first place in NCAA Division III National Championships 12 times since David Downing won in golf in 1977. George Itz, Diane Weeder, James White, Stephan Baptista, Tom Egan, and Jon Garcia followed. Most recently, Jordan Entwistle '20 won first place in javelin in 2019.
- You've got mail In 1994, UMassD entered a new era by connecting to the internet for the first time.
- Gooooooaaalll! During 1994 World Cup of Soccer, the Bolivian national team made UMassD its training headquarters.
As cars became increasingly numerous, architect Paul Rudolph designed an inner campus for pedestrians by keeping "dehumanizing" automobiles separated from the buildings.
The campus opened its doors to the community for 4th of July celebrations at Freedom Fest for several years. (P.S. Look for its return this year!)
- Gentle Thursday
The first Gentle Thursday was held on May 4, 1967, an "affirmation of the idea that there is nothing wrong and a great deal right with a little fun." Professors were encouraged to hold classes outdoors. The relaxing outdoor celebration continued until 1969.
- CP Brooks CP Brooks was selected to be the managing director of New Bedford Textile School in 1899, earning an annual salary of $2,000.
- Leary-Liddy In 1992, a spirited debate took place in the auditorium between Dr. Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy. From politics to social issues of the day, the event was entertaining and eye-opening.
- Blowin' in the wind…to Dartmouth Bob Dylan and his "Rolling Thunder Revue" concert tour made SMU their second stop in 1975. The line-up featured Joan Baez.
- Commercial art In 1930, the emphasis of course offerings at Swain shifted to commercial arts--commercial illustration, newspaper and magazine drawing, fashion and costume design, advertising layout, lettering and design, cartooning and caricature, and air brush drawing, as well as basic drawing and painting courses. Swain School of Design's curriculum always included liberal arts, offering courses in western civilization, art history and English.
- Let's do the time warp
The live performance of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" by 20 Cent Fiction has been a Halloween tradition since 1993.
- 79 All-Americans
79 Corsair athletes have been named All-Americans.
- Wartime Training In 1947, Bradford Durfee Technical Institute offered a one-year wartime training course for women.
- Nautilus UMassD's first "nautilus" logo, debuted in the 1995 Centennial Year, was the creation of Professor of Design and former Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dietmar Winkler. The spiral design depicts the "Euclidean accuracy of math and the language of proportion in music and art," as well as the university's connection to the sea.
- The Woods of Dartmouth
In May 1970, 100,000 music lovers descended on campus for The Woods of Dartmouth, a three-day celebration of music, including The Guess Who and Manfred Mann.
- Isaac Asimov Famous science writer Isaac Asimov was the commencement speaker in 1975. His speech advocated for a "united humanity."
- A history of Jewish culture A collection of documents on the history of the Jewish community in New Bedford and Fall River is housed in the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture. It includes manuscript records documenting social and philanthropic organizations, personal memorabilia, photographs, family documents and oral histories that weave a tale of Jewish immigration to the Fall River and New Bedford area from the turn of the 19th century through the 21st.
- Hall of Fame
The Corsair Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its first class of nominees in 1988: Joe Jason, Stephen McNamara, David Hill, Sally Darlington Hymes, William McArdle, Marie Snyder, Francis Tripp and the 1960 Men's Soccer Team.
- Justice Bridge Justice Bridge, a post-graduate program of UMass Law, allows recent law graduates experience in developing their law practice while providing access to legal services at more affordable rates for clients of modest means.
- A star In 2001, the university opened the Star Store campus in downtown New Bedford, a structure transformed from a landmark department store into a vibrant arts center located in the city’s historic district.
- Rudolph's master plan Architect Paul Rudolph began the design of campus in 1963, first with the Liberal Arts building. His building design was part of a master plan for the development of the campus. He described "a spiraling mall created by buildings organizes the heart of the complex."
- Beat Generation comes to UMassD Poet Allen Ginsberg visited UMassD in 1995 on the 40th anniversary of his poem "Howl."
- BFA The May 1970 commencement was a milestone for the Swain School of Design, when 12 students earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, the first in Swain's history.
- Funny people Howie Mandel, Adam Sandler, Denis Leary, and Paula Poundstone were a few of the comedians who made a stop in Dartmouth on their college tours.
WUSM-FM debuted in October 1974 on 90.5 FM with guest Dean Donald Howard and Rick "The Voice." The station signed off in 2017 when it moved to an online format.
- Sisters Diane Weeder and her sister, Donna Weeder, both captured NCAA Division III All-America honors in cross country for SMU in 1983. Diane took first place in the NCAA Division III National Championships in 1984 in the 3,000-meter race.
- The Kaput Center Issues in STEM education are studied, discussed, and analyzed at the Kaput Center, named for internationally renowned mathematics professor James Kaput who designed software to aid in teaching calculus.
- Soccer stars The 1992 women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship game. They lost 1-0 in the final game, but produced the best team finish for UMassD in NCAA national competition.
- Winter Carnival
The first Winter Carnival was held at the Lincoln Park Ballroom in 1966.
- A symphony The Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute Symphony Orchestra debuted in 1968 with 52 musicians under the direction of Professor Josef Cobert.
- Nobel Laureates Four Nobel Prize winners have visited UMassD: Jose Ramos-Horta (Nobel Peace Prize, 1996), Jose Saramango (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1998), Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Nobel Peace Prize. 1992), Elie Wiesel (Nobel Peace Prize, 1986), and Rainer Weiss (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2017).
- Bon dia
The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives houses the largest collection of historical material documenting the experience of Portuguese immigrants and their descendants in the United States. It is named for the Portuguese-language radio and newspaper personality, Affonso Gil Mendes Ferreira.
- First Commencement in Dartmouth
On June 12, 1966, the first Commencement ceremonies on the Dartmouth campus were held. Gov. John Volpe was the commencement speaker.
- A new era As the New England textile industry experienced a decline in the 1930s, the curriculum expanded to take advantage of the GI Bill, leading to granting four-year degrees.
- 90,000 gallons A 90,000-gallon acoustic-optic test tank lives at the School for Marine Science and Technology for development and testing of underwater measurement concepts and devices for academic, government, and industrial researchers and product developers.
- Fit to print The first and only issue of “Hexagon,” a student newspaper that merged Bradford Durfee College of Technology's “Technolog” and New Bedford Institute of Technology’s “Tech Talk,” published in December 1964.
- A commitment to service In 2009, the Center for Civic Engagement was established to enrich students, faculty, staff, and the community through engaged learning, active citizenship, meaningful community service, scholarship, and partnerships. It was later named in honor of Robert Leduc '78.
- Bon appetit Several famous chefs have been to UMassD, including Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Emeril Lagasse. Lagasse and Child also received honorary degrees.
- Back to back
James White captured back-to-back NCAA Division III Championships in cross country in 1985 and in the 10,000-meter outdoor in 1986. Jonathan Garcia repeated also in 2006, 2007, and 2008, winning three different track and field events.
- The future of design Our newest program is the Bachelor of Science in interior architecture and design, the only accredited program of its kind at a public university in New England. It originated at Mount Ida College.
Spinwinder, the sculpture at the entrance of campus, was created by Nancy Holt and installed in 1992 to symbolize the university's textile history. A time capsule is buried underneath containing textile artifacts connected to her grandfather, Samuel Holt, who was a designer instructor at the New Bedford Textile School.
- RNs at UMassD In response to the developing nursing profession in the SouthCoast, a bill was introduced in 1966 to establish a program at UMassD. The College of Nursing was established in 1969 with Sister Madeleine Clemence Vaillot as the first dean.
- En garde
From 1967 to 1990, fencing was among the sports offered. The 1967 team's opponents included Harvard, MIT, and Holy Cross.
- Corsair Pride begins In 1967, SMTI adopted the Corsair as its athletic symbol.
- SEMU On June 6, 1969, Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute became Southeastern Massachusetts University. The original legislation named the university "South Eastern Massachusetts University," but an amendment passed two months later renamed it "Southeastern Massachusetts University."
- College Now
In 1968, the College Now program launched with 31 students, opening possibilities for students who desired to attend college, but needed additional support. Today, 125 low-income or first-generation students make their college dreams a reality each year through College Now.
- Seeking peace Students held a day of protest and candlelight vigil against the Vietnam War in 1970.
- Charlton's legacy Earle P. Charlton II honored his grandfather's legacy by supporting the establishment of the Charlton College of Business. E.P. Charlton was the owner of five-and-dime stores in the 1890s that later merged with others to form the F.W. Woolworth Company in 1912.
- Three-wheeling In 1970, students pedaled around campus during "The Great Tricycle Race."
- Student Senate The Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute Student Council was the predecessor to the Student Senate. Byron Ford was the first president of the Student Senate and the only student to serve three terms.
- Tune in SMU-TV debuted in 1973. By 1976, it was broadcast through a cable hook-up in New Bedford. Programming included campus news shows, a game show, and a comedy show.
- The architect
Architect Paul Rudolph also designed the Art and Architecture Building at Yale University, his most notable commission. His brutalism style of architecture can be found in many significant buildings in the United States and Asia, including some notable skyscrapers in Hong Kong and Singapore.
- Molly Gammons Molly Nye (Gammons) Tobey was the first woman to earn a certificate diploma from New Bedford Textile School in 1918. She became a famous designer of hooked rugs.
- And the Oscar goes to… Brian Helgeland '83 received an Academy Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, and the New York Film Critics Award for screenwriting for his work on the film "L.A. Confidential" in 1997. In 2004, Mr. Helgeland was again nominated for an Academy Award and in 2005 won the PEN Award for his screenwriting work on "Mystic River."
- Seawater lab
SMAST is home to a 6,000-square-foot seawater lab for research and experiments.
- Gaining experience For 20 years, students in the Center for Marketing Research have provided professional marketing research services to area businesses.
- Richie Havens Richie Havens, the first act to hit the stage at Woodstock in 1969, brought his music to SMU in 1974.
- As good as the real thing Led Zepplin tribute band Physical Graffiti, Pink Floyd cover band Machine, and The Blushing Brides, a Canadian-based Rolling Stones tribute act, brought the likenesses of the famous rockers to campus in the late 80s and 90s.
- The SMTI seal
The seal of predecessor school Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute seal is described in the SMTI by-laws as "depicting an artist's palette and brush, crossed by a quill pen, the molecular structure of benzene, and a ball bearing wheel super-imposed on a gear wheel." The seal was used from 1960 to 1969.
- New students During World War I, students were admitted to New Bedford Textile School with only two years of high school.