Dartmouth, MA (May 11, 2013) -- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student leaders announced today that they are organizing a Torch Relay to benefit the One Fund and show support for all those impacted by the Boston Marathon attack. During the Torch Relay, students will take turns passing the torch at each one of the 55 miles from the UMass Dartmouth campus to the Boylston Street marathon memorial site in Boston.
"The real UMass Dartmouth is about strength, spirit and community, and this event will bring together students, alumni and residents throughout Massachusetts,'' said relay organizer Joseph Melo, a crime and justice major who will be receiving his diploma Sunday. "Our campus has been profoundly affected by the Marathon tragedy, and we are proud that we are coming together as one community to support the One Fund."
This event, tentatively scheduled for the weekend following Independence Day, will showcase the spirit of UMass Dartmouth students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends, while bringing together the community to support victims of the attack. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the One Fund.
"This has been a challenging period for our university and I am proud of the way our students, alumni, faculty and staff have come together -- not only to support each other, but to help those harmed by this terrible tragedy," said Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "This event highlights the true character, strength and compassion of the UMass Dartmouth community and I know these qualities will be on display every mile of this 55-mile journey."
This will be the third Torch Relay in UMass Dartmouth history. The first was held in 1965 to rally against state legislation that would have downsized what was then Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute.
"The 1965 Torch Run responded to pending State legislation which would have defunded the University's Liberal Arts program; the students, faculty and Southeastern Massachusetts community thankfully won that battle," said Jack Hawes, SMTI class of 1966 and organizer of the 1965 Torch Run. "Now, it is terrific to see today's students take up the torch displaying the same energy and resolution for this worthy cause."
The second Torch Relay was held in 1985 and organized by then-sophomore and now State Senator Mark Montigny (D- New Bedford) to gain equal support from the state budget at what was then Southeastern Massachusetts University.
"The Torch Relay has always been a powerful rallying tool for the entire university community in times of trial or concern. I am proud to again be associated with the organization of a third Torch Relay which this time will not only illustrate the real character of UMass Dartmouth's students to the world but will also aid the victims of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing. I am certain that this walk will play a positive role in helping the entire state heal from the tragic events of the last month," said Senator Montigny, a member of the track team at the time, who led off the relay.
The July Torch Relay will begin at the UMass Dartmouth campus and end at the marathon memorial in Boston. Participants are being recruited now to take part in all or specific segments of the 55-mile journey to Boston. All attendees are invited and encouraged to participate in the final segment of the relay through Boston to the Boylston Street marathon memorial site.
For more information and to register or make a donation, please visit www.umassd.edu/torchrelay/