Pat Flaherty shared her story for WUMB's UMass Boston Minute.
"I started at UMass Boston in September of 1965, I was a member of the charter class. I remember the classes were small, which was nice. They were very small. The rooms were small – so they had to have small classes!"
Pat Flaherty was one of more than 1,200 students who enrolled at UMass Boston during its very first semester. The original campus was downtown, at 100 Arlington Street in Park Square. Flaherty and her friend Jim Smith recall that it wasn’t uncommon to go to lunch with a professor at Patsio’s or Sullivan’s bar.
"That was our bar! Sully’s!"
"That was the campus."
"Park square was the campus."
"And at Patsio’s I learned to love peanut butter and bacon sandwiches."
"Oh wow, I didn’t do that."
Because the university was new, there were no social or academic traditions to follow.
"It was interesting to come into this place where there were no rules."
Students were free to forge their own paths – an appealing prospect to many young people in the late 1960’s.
"UMass Boston gave me the confidence to think I could do whatever I wanted to."