UMass Dartmouth has been chosen by Governor-Elect Deval Patrick's Inauguration Committee
as a site for the SouthCoast region's celebration of grass roots civic engagement, one of five such celebrations being planned around the state.
The event will be held Sunday, January 7 in the university's Campus Center and Main Auditorium. The festivities are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with an "emerging leadership'' event for regional high school students in the Main Auditorium. At 5:30 p.m. a "tastes and sounds of the region" reception will begin in the Campus Center. Details will be announced in the coming days.
Other regional celebrations are being planned for Pittsfield, Springfield, the Merrimack Valley and on Cape Cod.
"Deval Patrick and Tim Murray pledged to open state government and reach out to people across this commonwealth who may feel detached from their state government," said Beverly Morgan-Welch, co-chair of the inaugural committee. "This is a first step in that direction. More importantly, we are taking the inaugural to the people to celebrate our state's great history, traditions and promising future."
"We are honored that UMass Dartmouth has been chosen as a site for this celebration of our region," Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "Our students, faculty, and staff are committed to the social, civic, and economic development of this region and we look forward to working with the new governor and lieutenant governor on that mission."
Each celebration is open to the public and run by a local committee. The citizens in each region are addressing the inaugural's theme of civic engagement in a way that best serves the needs of their area. Each regional committee is also responsible for planning the festivities and soliciting contributions necessary to cover costs. Ticket prices are limited to $20 per person.
"We're keeping prices as low as possible so that anyone who wants to attend is able to do so," said Margaret Xifaras, co-chair of the committee planning for the SouthCoast inaugural celebration. "Everybody is really excited that we are being included in the inaugural."
UMass Dartmouth hosted the final gubernatorial debate of the election season on November 3, drawing statewide attention to the campus.
Keeping with the theme of openness and inclusion, anyone who is interested may attend the inaugural ceremonies. Tickets can be purchased at www.jan4th.org
. Financial assistance is available in order to assure that everyone can join the celebration. Those who wish to attend and would like assistance should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Crawford, Patrick-Murray Inauguration Committee
Libby DeVecchi, Patrick-Murray Inauguration Committee
John Hoey, UMass Dartmouth