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In this handout photo provided by Jill Zuckman, Alan Gross, facing camera, is hugged by Tim Rieser, an aide to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., upon his arrival from Cuba. Gross's wife Judy is at left, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. is at right. (AP Photo/Jill Zuckman)

US-Cuba thaw validates McGovern’s longtime advocacy

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Congressman James P. McGovern, long an advocate of improved U.S.-Cuba relations, got a front-row seat Wednesday to the event he said made increased diplomacy possible — the return of American prisoner Alan Gross from Cuba. The Worcester Democrat, who also represents Northampton and many other towns in eastern Hampshire and Franklin counties, was on the tarmac to greet Gross when …

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy praises outgoing president Robert Caret

Thursday, December 18, 2014

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said President Robert L. Caret will leave the university in a strong position when he departs next year to become chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Subbaswamy, who became chancellor of UMass Amherst under Caret’s leadership, said in a prepared statement issued Thursday that Caret was a “dynamic and visionary leader” for …

Robert Caret resigns from UMass presidency to become chancellor of University System of Maryland

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret has resigned to return to the University System of Maryland, where he will become chancellor. The University System of Maryland late Wednesday afternoon announced Caret’s hiring, effective July 1. Caret became the 26th president of UMass in January 2011. Before that, he was president …

Amherst College endowment reaches all-time high of $2.15 billion

Friday, December 5, 2014

AMHERST — The endowment for Amherst College recently passed $2 billion, a milestone that will allow the college to continue covering its expenses, including providing grants to all eligible students. “It’s a very big, very healthy number,” Kevin Weinman, the college’s chief financial officer, said of the $2.15 …

Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella to announce plan for more women in sciences at second college summit in Washington

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella will announce a plan to get more women into the sciences when she joins President Obama and more than 400 fellow college leaders at the second College Opportunity Day …

Gov.-elect Charlie Baker encounters recipient of his own scholarship during visit to UMass

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

AMHERST — Squeezed between scheduled events during his visit to the University of Massachusetts Amherst science facilities, Gov.-elect Charlie Baker ran into a student who received a scholarship he established. UMass junior Patrice Charlot of Brockton is among …

Doctors without Borders nurse Deborah Wilson speaks to UMass students about fighting Ebola in Africa

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

AMHERST — For six weeks this fall, Doctors Without Borders nurse Deborah Wilson fought Ebola in Liberia. When she returned, she found herself fighting for the rights of her colleagues. Speaking to an ethics class taught by professor …

Indian schools facing decayed buildings, poverty

Sunday, November 30, 2014

WINSLOW, Ariz. — On a desert outpost miles from the closest paved road, Navajo students at the Little Singer Community School gleefully taste traditional fry bread during the school’s heritage week. “It reminds us of the Native American …

Smith College geosciences professor Sara Pruss featured on National Geographic Channel ‘Big Cat Week’

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When producers from the National Geographic Channel told Smith College professor Sara Pruss that they needed her expertise for a special on “big cats,” she wondered if they had the right person. Pruss, an associate professor …

Bill Cosby steps down as honorary co-chairman of UMass Amherst fundraising campaign

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced Wednesday night that it has cut ties with embattled entertainer Bill Cosby amid accusations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women during his career. UMass joins at least …

UMass groups offer space for discussion in wake of Ferguson grand jury decision

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

AMHERST — Sitting in a circle of upholstered chairs, Chrystal George Mwangi was one of dozens of faculty, staff and students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who engaged in conversations Tuesday following a grand jury’s decision not …

UMass heeds forecast, will close Wednesday

Monday, November 24, 2014

AMHERST — A snowstorm predicted for mid-week has prompted the University of Massachusetts to announce the campus will be closed beginning Wednesday at 5 a.m. According to its “emergency closing status” web page, the possibility of a severe storm that could dump 5 to 8 inches of snow …

NJ eyes college policy of ‘affirmative consent’

Sunday, November 23, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. — You think the attractive woman at the party who has been chatting you up all night is ready to take things to the next level. She seems to be throwing all the right signals. But …