Founder’s Week begins at University of Massachusetts in Amherst
AMHERST — As the University of Massachusetts celebrates its 150th anniversary, several major events roll out starting today as part of Founder’s Week, which concludes with Alumni Weekend and the inauguration of the new chancellor at the Amherst campus.
Kumble Subbaswamy will be sworn in as the 30th leader April 27 at 11 a.m. at the Mullins Center, the centerpiece event of Alumni Weekend
Subbaswamy said in a statement the 150th celebrations come as a way to mark the university being a driving force for individual opportunity and economic development.
“Our sesquicentennial celebration will engage citizens throughout the Commonwealth, including the 120,000 UMass Amherst alumni who live in Massachusetts,” Subbaswamy said.
During Alumni Weekend, which begins April 25, various class events are scheduled, tours of buildings, such as the Commonwealth Honors College, will be held, and sporting events and dance, music and theater performances will go on.
Alumni Weekend concludes April 29 with the Celebrate UMass Amherst Campus Cookout, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lawn at Goodell Hall.
The week leading up to Alumni Weekend will feature two major events.
At 2 p.m. today, as part of Earth Day, students will have a “Trashion Show” with student-designed outfits from recycled materials. This will take place on the lawn in front of Goodell.
The UMass libraries will be selling sesquicentennial T-shirts made from recycled bottles. The T-shirts feature an archival photo of the campus’s early days as an agricultural school and were created from post-consumer waste yarns, using an average of 14 bottles per shirt
In the evening, environmental and health activist filmmaker Annie Leonard will be the keynote speaker at Bowker Auditorium. She is the creator of the animated short documentary film, “The Story of Stuff,” which focuses on the throw-away culture.
Leonard will also sign copies of her book, “The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities and Our Health, and a Vision for Change.”
On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., during the Stockbridge Day and Celebration of Agriculture Day, a groundbreaking and reception will take place at the planned Agricultural Learning Center at 911 North Pleasant St.
The 50 acre site will feature a working farm where students will be taught farming, horticultural, nursery and landscape techniques. The last campus horse barn and Blaisdell House will both be moved to the site, which is expected to open in fall 2014.
During the event, horse-drawn cart tours will be offered around property, a plowing demonstration takes place and an apple tree gets planted.
Kay Stockbridge, a descendent of Levi Stockbridge, the founder of Stockbridge School, will be on hand and speakers will include Subbaswamy, Steven Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Stephen Herbert, director of the Stockbridge School’s Center for Agriculture, Rich Bonanno, president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, which pledged $500,000 to the learning center, and 88-year-old Alice Wysocki, whose family owned and farmed part of the land where the learning center will be built.
The day will also feature tours of the Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown and the South Deerfield and Hadley farms,
Later in the year, anniversary events will include UMass Amherst Day in Boston, featuring a series of events in the state capital, a performance by the UMass Minuteman Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The sesquicentennial also includes the planting of 150 new trees across campus, which began this week along Massachusetts Avenue and North Hadley Road.