UMass Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack and Millennium bcpbank President & CEO Pedro J. Belo today announced a major new partnership that will advance teaching and research related to the Portuguese culture. The key to the partnership is the bank's support of the university's doctoral program in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory, which was recently approved by the UMass Board of Trustees and is awaiting approval by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.
"With its generous gift to the university, Millennium bcpbank has once again proven itself to be a model international corporate citizen," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean. F. MacCormack said, following a meeting of university, bank and civic leaders at UMass Dartmouth. "This contribution will allow us to rapidly build our graduate program in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies, thus strengthening our appreciation of a population rich in culture and history."
"Millennium bcpbank's sponsorship of the graduate program just reinforces our strong commitment towards education and academic excellence," stated Mr. Pedro Belo, Millennium bcpbank President & CEO. "With the partnership agreement launched today with the University of Massachusetts, we are certain to be contributing positively to the advancement in learning the rich Portuguese culture within the United States. On such a global world, with manufacturing jobs moving to developing countries, education, in particular higher education, is a key factor in the development of our communities."
Millennium bcpbank's contribution is part of an ambitious Social Responsibility Plan being deployed since the bank's inception. The graduate program in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies is central to the Scientific/Educational Advancement sponsorship priority of Millennium bcpbank. Other key defined priorities include national heritage, arts & culture, community reinvestment and solidarity.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is located in southeastern Massachusetts, a region where nearly one-quarter of the more than one million Portuguese-Americans reside. The doctorate program focusing the global aspects of Portuguese history, culture and language -- the first of its kind in the country -- will be the latest phase in the university's achievement of international leadership in Portuguese-related studies.
"The collective intellectual capital of the faculty who contribute to the program finds no parallel at any other university in the United States," said Dr. Anna Klobucka, chair of the university's Department of Portuguese. "This wise and generous investment by Millennium bcpbank adds a uniquely valuable component to the dynamic regional synergy existing between our campus and the communities of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cape-Verdean immigrants in whose midst we are able to thrive."
Other related teaching and research activities of the university include:
* A new Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives facility, due to open later this year in a prominent area of the university's library. This facility will document the contributions of the Portuguese immigrant experience in the development of the United States. One major initiative will be to digitize collections for sharing with global audiences via the internet.
* The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. Founded in 1996, the Center is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world.
* The Portuguese in the Americas Series book series, drawing in part from materials in the Archives. The series includes Alfred Lewis's novel Sixty Acres and a Barn and Jerry R. Williams' In Pursuit of Their Dreams: A History of Azorean Immigration to the United States.
* Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies, a multilingual interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published semi-annually by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. The journal addresses the literatures and cultures of the diverse communities of the Portuguese-speaking world.
About Millennium bcpbank
Millennium bcpbank is a community bank, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. Millennium bcpbank has currently 18 branches in the United States in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Millennium bcpbank provides comprehensive banking services and solutions to its customer base, servicing individual and corporate customers through a combination of personal and business banking products and services. Millennium bcpbank is wholly-owned by the Millennium bcp group, a successful international financial group with resources available worldwide.