Not Just a State College

Sherry Penney

Faculty, Staff, Other


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Sherry Penney, former UMass Boston chancellor, shared her story for WUMB's UMass Boston Minute.

"The campus I came to was very different from when I retired in 2000. Very, very different."

Sherry Penney was UMass Boston’s chancellor from 1988 to 2000. During that time, the university added eight new doctoral programs, doubled the size of the honors program, and began plans for a new campus center. Penney also launched UMass Boston’s first capital campaign.

"All those things that were in place have helped us today to add another ten doctoral programs, to add another two buildings, to start another capital campaign. And nobody now thinks about UMass Boston as just another state college."

Penney is also the founder of the Emerging Leaders Program at UMass Boston, which brings together a diverse group of professionals from corporations and nonprofits in Boston.

"Its purpose is literally to change the leadership profile of Boston for the future to be more inclusive, more diverse, to have a younger generation play a larger role."

There are over 500 graduates of the Emerging Leaders Program, who continue to meet at alumni events throughout the year.

PENNEY: Suddenly, a banker is sitting next to a banker who is sitting next to a nonprofit who is sitting next to a symphony conductor. I mean, this is phenomenal!