UMass Dartmouth History

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Chapter One: Merging Realities

In 1958, Governor Foster Furcolo presented his plan for revamping and expanding public higher education in Massachusetts. One element of that plan called for a merger of the New Bedford Institute of Technology (NBIT) and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology (BDCT) to form a comprehensive four-year institution. When the trustees of both schools accepted the idea of merger, legislation was passed in 1960 creating a board of trustees for Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (SMTI). The board was charged with acquiring a site for the new school, hiring a chief administrator, and arranging to have the new campus designed and built. By 1964, formal merger legislation was passed which terminated the two technical colleges and merged their faculty, students, and staff into SMTI. Later mergers further contributed to the school's development: the Swain School of Design, in 1988, and the inclusion of SMU into an expanded UMass system in 1991.

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