University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Seal of the University of Massachusetts
Motto Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
Motto in English By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty
Established 1863
Type Public
Endowment US $199,876,589[1]
Chancellor Dr. Robert C. Holub
Provost James Staros
Admin. staff 1,174 full-time[2]
Students 27,269
Undergraduates 21,373
Postgraduates 6,196
Location Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
(42°23′20″N 72°31′40″W / 42.38889°N 72.52778°W / 42.38889; -72.52778)
Campus 1,463 acres (5.87 km2) Urban/Suburban
Former names Massachusetts Agricultural College, Massachusetts State College
Athletics Official site
Colors Maroon and White

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Rowing, Skiing, Soccer, Softball,

Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field
Nickname Minutemen and Minutewomen
Mascot Sam the Minuteman
UMassAmherst logo.png

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (otherwise known as UMass or UMass Amherst) is a highly selective public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With 1,174 faculty members and more than 27,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England.[3]

The university offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees in 86 undergraduate and 72 graduate areas of study, through eight schools and colleges.[4] The main campus is situated north of downtown Amherst, Massachusetts. In a 2009 article for Amherst was ranked 1st in Best College Towns in the United States.[5]

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is categorized as a Research University with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[6] In 2009, UMass Amherst had research expenditures of $130 million.[7]

UMass Amherst sports teams are called the Minutemen and Minutewomen, the colors being maroon and white; the school mascot is Sam the Minuteman. All teams participate in NCAA Division I. The university is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, while playing ice hockey in Hockey East. In football, UMass currently competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) at the FCS level, but in 2012 they will upgrade to the FBS level and transition to the Mid-American Conference (MAC), joining fellow A10 member Temple.



Foundation and early years

The Centennial Seal of UMass Amherst

The university was founded in 1863 under the provisions of the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide instruction to Massachusetts citizens in the "agricultural, mechanical, and military arts." Accordingly, the university was initially named the Massachusetts Agricultural College, popularly referred to as "Mass Aggie" or "M.A.C." In 1867, the college had yet to admit any students, had been through two Presidents, and still had not completed any college buildings. In that year, William S. Clark was appointed President of the college and Professor of Botany. He quickly appointed a faculty, completed the construction plan, and in the fall of 1867 admitted the first class of approximately 50 students. Clark became the first functioning President and arguably the primary founding father of the college.[8]

Goodell Hall at UMass Amherst.

The original buildings consisted of Old South College (a dormitory located on the site of the present South College), North College (a second dormitory once located just south of today's Machmer Hall), the Chemistry Laboratory, also known as College Hall (once located on the present site of Machmer Hall), the Boarding House (a small dining hall located just north of the present Campus Parking Garage), the Botanic Museum (located on the north side of the intersection of Stockbridge Road and Chancellor's Hill Drive) and the Durfee Plant House (located on the site of the new Durfee Conservatory).[9]

Although enrollment was slow during the 1870s, the fledgling college built momentum under the leadership of President Henry Hill Goodell. In the 1880s, Goodell implemented an expansion plan, adding the College Drill Hall in 1883 (the first gymnasium), the Old Chapel Library in 1885 (one of the oldest extant buildings on campus and an important symbol of the University), and the East and West Experiment Stations in 1886 and 1890. The Campus Pond, now the central focus of the University Campus, was created in 1893 by damming a small brook.

The early 20th century saw great expansion in terms of enrollment and the scope of the curriculum. The first female student was admitted in 1875 on a part time basis and the first full time female student was admitted in 1894. In 1903, Draper Hall was constructed for the dual purpose of a dining hall and female housing. The first female students graduated with the class of 1905. The first dedicated female dormitory, the Abigail Adams House (on the site of today's Lederle Tower) was built in 1920.[10]

By the turn of the century, the college was thriving and quickly expanded its curriculum to include the liberal arts. In recognition of the higher enrollment and broader curriculum, the college was renamed Massachusetts State College in 1931.

A picture looking north from the W.E.B. DuBois Library at UMass Amherst. Lederle Graduate Research Tower can be seen in the background and the Campus Center and Hotel in the foreground.

Following World War II, the G.I. Bill, facilitating financial aid for veterans, led to an explosion of applicants. The college population soared and Presidents Hugh Potter Baker and Ralph Van Meter labored to push through major construction projects in the 1940s and 50s, particularly with regard to dormitories (now Northeast and Central Residential Areas). Accordingly, the name of the college was changed in 1947 to the "University of Massachusetts."

Modern era

By the 1970s, the University continued to grow and gave rise to a shuttle bus service on campus as well as many other architectural additions; this included the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center complete with a hotel, office space, fine dining restaurant, campus store, and passage way to the parking garage, the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, and the Fine Arts Center.

Over the course of the next two decades, the John W. Lederle Graduate Research Center and the Conte National Polymer Research Center were built and UMass Amherst emerged as a major research facility. The Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors welcomed thousands of guests to campus after its dedication in 1989. For athletic and other large events, the Mullins Center was opened in 1993, hosting capacity crowds as the Minutemen basketball team was ranked #1 for many weeks in the mid 1990s, and reached the Final Four in 1996.

UMass Amherst entered the 21st century with close to 24,000 students enrolled. In 2003, for the first time, UMass Amherst was legally designated by the state legislature as a research university and the "flagship campus of the UMass system.[11] UMass Faculty members are top performers in terms of the numbers of awards and recognitions they receive, and their supported research activities total more than $140 million per year.[2] The campus facilities have undergone extensive renovations in recent years. New and newly renovated facilities include student apartment complexes, Berkshire Dining Commons, library Learning Commons, School of Management, Integrated Science Building, Nursing Building, Studio Arts Building, Heating Plant, track facility, and Recreation Center. In 2010 UMass Amherst broke ground on a new laboratory science building and a new home for the Minuteman Marching Band. Its current student body is the most high-achieving in UMass Amherst history (in terms of admissions test scores and grades) and the university was named a top producer of Fulbright Award winners in the 2008–2009 academic year.[12] Additionally, in 2010 UMass Amherst was named one of the "Top Colleges and Universities Contributing to Teach For America's 2010 Teaching Corps."[13]

Organization and administration

Since the University of Massachusetts Amherst was founded as the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863, 25 individuals have been at the helm of the institution.[14] The office, originally known as "President," was changed to "Chancellor" in 1970. The title "President of the University of Massachusetts" now refers to the president of the entire five-campus University of Massachusetts system. The current Chancellor of the Amherst campus is Dr. Robert C. Holub. The Chancellor resides in Hillside, the campus residence for chancellors.[15]

There are 972 permanent faculty at the university. In 2010 the state budgeted $465 million for the UMass system. State funding is 25% of revenue.[16] UMass offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees in over 90 undergraduate and 65 graduate areas of study. The university is organized into 9 schools and colleges:[4]

Students interested in studying outside of a particular major can apply to enroll in the Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program. This is a unique program which allows students to design their own area of study. A BDIC concentration must be interdisciplinary, drawing from at least three fields or disciplines, and it may not duplicate an existing major. Courses can be selected from any department within the university as well as the campuses in the Five College Consortium. Course selection is guided by the students chosen faculty sponsor and a BDIC faculty supervisor. BDIC students are assigned to one of five academic clusters- Arts and Cultural studies; Business and Law; Communication; Education and Human Development; Natural Health, Computer Sciences and Engineering.

Additionally, the university offers two programs designed for adult and continuing education students, known as University Without Walls[17] and Continuing and Professional Education.[18]


The center of the UMass Amherst campus. To the left is the Old Chapel, and to the right the W. E. B. Du Bois Library

The University's campus is situated on 1,450 acres, mainly in the town Amherst, but also partly in the neighboring town of Hadley. The campus extends about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Campus Center in all directions and may be thought of as a series of concentric rings, with innermost ring harboring academic buildings and research labs, surrounded by a ring of the six residential areas, which in turn is surrounded by a ring of athletic facilities and parking lots. The campus is also divided into "North Campus" and "South Campus."

The campus has its own Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation facility. The plant, which was dedicated in 2009 after ten years of planning, replaced a coal burning power plant dating back to 1918 and has reduced the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 75%. In 2011, the CHP was recognized as the cleanest plant of its size in New England and has been recognized for maintaining 80% efficiency over six consecutive quarters. In 2008, the CHP received the Combined Cycle Journal Pacesetter Award for the best Combined Heat and Power plant project in the US that year. The award refers to its innovative design, efficiency, reliability, system redundancy, and environmental benefits.In 2009, the CHP received the Sustainable Campus Leadership Award from the International District Energy Association. The award states it was given “In recognition of exemplary public leadership in advancing energy efficiency and global environmental stewardship through investment in an innovative district energy system.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the University of Massachusetts with the 2011 Combined Heat and Power Energy Star Award in an effort to recognize the reduced emissions and increased efficiency of the plant.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library is the main library on campus and the tallest library in the United States, consisting of 26 stories and 296 feet (90.32 m) tall.[19] It is well regarded for its innovative architectural design, which incorporates the bookshelves into the structural support of the building.[20] It is home of the memoirs and papers of the distinguished African-American activist and Massachusetts native W. E. B. Du Bois, as well as being the depository for other important collections, such as the papers of the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte. The library's special collections include works on movements for social change, African American history and culture, labor and industry, literature and the arts, agriculture, and the history of the surrounding region.[21]

The Science and Engineering Library is the other main library on campus. It is located on the second floor of the Lederle Graduate Research Center (occasionally referred to as the Lederle "low rise"). UMass is also home to the DEFA Film Library, the only archive and study collection of East German films outside of Europe, the Shirley Graham Du Bois Library in New Africa House, the Biological Sciences Library in Morrill Hall, the UMass Science Fiction Society (UMSFS) Library in the Campus Center, and the Music Reserve Lab in the Fine Arts Center.

The university has several buildings (constructed in the 1960s and 70s) of importance in the modernist style, including the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center and Hotel designed by Marcel Breuer, the Southwest Residential Area designed by Hugh Stubbins Jr. of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, The Fine Arts Center by Kevin Roche, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library by Edward Durell Stone, and Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium by Gordon Bunshaft. Many of the older dorms and lecture halls are built in a Georgian Revival style such as French Hall, Fernald Hall and Flint Laboratory.


The number of applications to UMass Amherst has almost doubled from 16,500 to 29,500 in just five years, increasing for the seventh consecutive year. In 2009, 64% percent of applicants were accepted to the University, and 2% to the Commonwealth College (14% of those accepted). In 2010, 31,300 applications were received. The incoming class of 2014 had an average high school GPA of 3.61 out of 4. The class of 2014 is the school's biggest at 4,500, which is an increase of 10 percent from the class of 2013.[22] The class of 2012 had an average high school GPA of 3.55, compared to previous year's 3.48 average high school GPA.[23] Acceptance to the Commonwealth College honors program of UMass Amherst is more selective with an average SAT score of 1390 (math and critical reading) and an average high school class rank of top 6%.[24]


Ranking and reputation

University rankings (overall)
U.S. News & World Report[25] 94
Times[26] 56
Skyline of the university from the South Athletic Fields

U.S. News and World Report's 2012 edition of America's Best Colleges ranked UMass Amherst 94th on their list of "Best National Universities", and 42nd among public universities.[27] The computer science program is ranked 20th, tied with Brown, Purdue, Rice, UNC Chapel Hill, USC, and Yale.[28] The artificial intelligence program is ranked 8th, computer systems is ranked at 18th[29] while computer engineering is ranked 36th.[30] The philosophy department is ranked 26th in the U.S. and 33rd in the world.[31] US News and World Report ranks UMass Amherst 51st among graduate engineering schools, 47th among graduate education schools, 54th among nursing programs, and in the graduate arts and sciences, 30th for speech-language pathology, 31st for sociology, 46th for English, 48th for physics, 49th for earth sciences, 50th for psychology, 50th for chemistry, 64th for history, 64th for math, 28th for biology, 72nd for public affairs, and 81st for fine arts.[7]

Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks the university as the 56th best university in the world in its World University Rankings 2010.[32][33] It also ranks the university as the 19th in the world for its reputation in Top Universities By Reputation 2011.[34]. UMass Amherst is ranked 26th among Engineering and Technology Universities.[35]

The undergraduate engineering program is ranked by U.S. News as tied for 56th in the country among schools whose highest degree is a doctorate, ranked higher than other area schools, such as Boston University, Tufts University, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.[36]

The MBA program is highly ranked by the Princeton Review.[37]

The National Research Council ranked computer science at UMass Amherst 18th in quality of Ph. D. education and polymer science, 2nd in quality of education and 7th in quality of scholarship among all U.S. materials departments. Where the Institute for Scientific Information ranked the Chemical Engineering program 5th, Computer Science Department 9th and Geosciences Department recognized for producing most cited paper on Global Warming.[7]

In 2009, the Master of Fine Arts Program for Poets and Writers was rated 4th nationally among graduate creative writing programs by Poets & Writers Magazine.[38]

In 2009, the undergraduate Writing Program was awarded the Conference on College Composition and Communication's (CCCC) 2008–09 Certificate of Excellence, the highest award given to writing programs in the United States.[39]

In 2010, ranked UMass #18 in the "College Rankings of Rock", which is a top 20 countdown that "evaluated universities near and far, ordering them according to their matriculation of musicians"[3]. Notable musicians and bands that attended UMass include Natalie Cole, The Pixies, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Taj Mahal (musician).

Founded in 1971, the University Without Walls was one of the first adult bachelor's degree completion programs in the country.

Commonwealth Honors College

The Old Chapel and W.E.B. DuBois Library at UMass Amherst.

Commonwealth Honors College is the honors college at UMass. The honors college provides students the opportunity to intensify their UMass academic curriculum. The requirements of the college are to complete an honors college writing course, a seminar called "Ideas That Changed the World," two honors gen ed courses, an honors seminar called "Topics," and for advanced scholarship honors, several upper-level honors courses, including an honors thesis, project, or capstone course. Membership in the honors college is not required in order to graduate the University with higher Latin honors designations, such as magna or summa cum laude. Commonwealth Honors College provides honors students an additional community of students to interact with outside of their academic department and holds many social and academic events during the school year.

Five College consortium

UMass Amherst is part of the Five Colleges consortium, which allows its students to attend classes, borrow books, work with professors, etc., at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.

All five colleges are located within 10 miles of Amherst center, and are accessible by public bus. The five share an astronomy department and some other undergraduate and graduate departments.

Community service

UMass Amherst emphasizes community service as part of its academic programs. The Community Engagement Program (CEP) offers courses that combine classroom learning and community service, and sponsors programs such as the first year IMPACT learning community and the Citizen Scholars Program. Co-curricular service programs include the Alternative Spring Break, Engineers without Borders, the Legal Studies Civil Rights Clinical Project, the Medical Reserve Corps, Alpha Phi Omega, the Red Cross Club, and the Veterans and Service Members Association (VSMA). The White House has named UMass Amherst to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for four consecutive years, in recognition of its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.[40] They have also been named a “Community-Engaged University” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[41] The Princeton Review included UMass Amherst in its Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.


Researchers at the university made several high-profile achievements in recent years. A team of scientists at UMass, led by Vincent Rotello, have developed a molecular nose that can detect and identify various proteins. The research appeared in the May 2007 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, and the team is currently focusing on sensors which will detect the malformed proteins made by cancer cells.[42] Also, UMass Amherst scientists Richard Farris, Todd Emrick, and Bryan Coughlin lead a research team that developed a synthetic polymer that does not burn. This polymer is a building block of plastic, and the new flame-retardant plastics won't need to have flame-retarding chemicals added to their composition. These chemicals have recently been found in many different areas from homes and offices to fish, and there are environmental and health concerns regarding the additives. The newly developed polymers would not require the addition of these potentially hazardous chemicals.[43]

Environmental research

UMass Amherst researchers have positioned the campus as a national leader in sustainability.

Economics professor Robert Pollin has influenced the national discussion about how best to stimulate the U.S. economy and promote sustainability. He and colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute have developed a plan for national recovery that shows, for example, that investing in clean energy (wind power, solar, and biofuels) will create about three times as many good-paying jobs than conventional projects will, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.

Since September 2009, the campus has won more than $36 million in competitive stimulus grants. These include:

  • $7.1 million in grants from the National Science Foundation to approximately 20 separate researchers.
  • $16 million from the Department of Energy to establish an Energy Frontier Research Center on campus to develop highly efficient non-silicon polymer materials for harvesting solar energy.
  • $1.9 million to chemical engineer George Huber to further develop bio-fuels from inedible corn stalks, bark, wood waste, and similar biomass.

Other significant research in environmentally-safe technology among UMass Amherst faculty includes:

  • Microbiologist Susan Leschine has raised $25 million to commercialize technology that converts plant waste into ethanol using the Q microbe, discovered in the Quabbin Reservoir just east of the campus.
  • James Manwell, director of the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory, leads testing on large wind-turbine blades at a new federal facility in Boston after helping construct two municipal wind turbines in Hull, Massachusetts.
  • Microbiologist Derek Lovley discovered Geobacter, a tiny biological structure that can clean up groundwater and produce electricity through conductive microbial nanowires.

Student life

Arts on Campus

The UMass Amherst campus offers a variety of artistic venues, both for performance and visual art. The most prominent is the Fine Arts Center (FAC), built in 1975. The FAC brings nationally-known theater, music, and dance performances to campus throughout the year to its performance spaces (the Concert Hall, Bezanson Recital Hall, and Bowker Auditorium). These include several popular performance series: Jazz in July Summer Music Program, the Center Series, Magic Triangle Series (jazz), and New WORLD Theater. The University Museum of Contemporary Art in the FAC has a permanent contemporary art collection of about 2,600 works and hosts numerous visual arts exhibitions each year, as well as workshops, master classes, and artist residencies.[44]

The 9,000-seat Mullins Center, the multi-purpose arena of UMass Amherst hosts a wide variety of performances including speakers, rock concerts, and Broadway shows. In addition, the Music, Dance, and Theater Departments, the Renaissance Center, and multiple student groups dedicated to the arts provide an eclectic menu of performances throughout the year.

Besides the University Museum of Contemporary Art in the FAC, there are four additional art galleries on the UMass Amherst campus that exhibit the work of faculty, students, and artists from around the world. These are the Augusta Savage Gallery in New Africa House (a multicultural and multiarts facility), Herter Gallery in Herter Hall, the Hamden and Central Galleries, located in the residential areas on campus, and the Student Union Art Gallery.

Students also have access to performance venues and galleries in the towns of Amherst and Northampton, and at Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, Smith, and Amherst Colleges.

Groups and Activities

UMass Amherst looking southeast from the air.

UMass Amherst has a history of protest and activism among the undergraduate and graduate population[45] and is home to over 200 registered student organizations (RSOs).

UMass Permaculture

UMass Permaculture is one the first university permaculture initiatives in the nation that transforms marginalized landscapes on the campus into diverse, educational, low-maintenance and edible gardens according to UMass officials.[46] One of the most important aspects of UMass Permaculture is that it comes from the students and is ecologically and socially responsible. Rather than tilling the soil, a more sustainable landscaping method known as sheet mulching is employed. During November, 2010, "about a quarter of a million pounds of organic matter was moved by hand",[47] using all student and community volunteer labor and no fossil fuels on-site. The process took about two weeks to complete. Now, the Franklin Permaculture Garden includes a diverse mixture of "vegetables, fruit trees, berry bushes, culinary herbs and a lot of flowers that will attract beneficial insects."[47]


The Student Government Association (SGA) is the undergraduate student governmental body, and provides funding for the many registered student organizations (RSOs) and agencies, including the Student Legal Services Office (SLSO) and the Center for Student Business (CSB). The SGA also makes formal recommendations on matters of Administration policy and advocates for undergraduate students to the Administration, non-student organizations, and local and state government. The SGA has a budget of approximately 2 million dollars per year which is collected for students in the form of the Student Activities Fee. The student activities fee is currently $47 per semester (Spring 2009). It is used to fund RSOs, Agencies and the SGA itself.

The SGA has three branches: the President and Executive Cabinet, the Undergraduate Student Senate, and the Student Judiciary.

Area governments

There are a total of seven area governments. Each of the campus's six residential areas has an area government, and there is also a Commuter Area Government to serve commuter students. Area governments provide social programming for their areas, and are in charge of the house councils for the dorms in their area. They also represent the needs and interests of students in their areas to the Administration, Housing and Residence Life and the SGA.

Area Governments have a tradition of sponsoring large events, generally in the Spring, such as Fill the Hill, Bowl Weekend and Southwest Week.

Each residence hall or residential "cluster" (a group of residence halls) at UMass Amherst has a house council. House councils report to their respective area governments. Its budget comes from voluntary dues collected in return for access to common supplies (access to the kitchenette, rental access to vacuums, brooms, games, etc.). House councils also engage in social programming for their halls or clusters, and advocate to housing staff in regards to concerns of students in their hall/cluster.


The Minuteman Battalion is the institution's Army ROTC battalion. Active on the Amherst campus, the program's Scabbard and Blade community service club is very active and represents UMass well throughout the year with food drives, assistance to local veteran's groups and assistance with the Medical Readiness Corps at UMass in preparing for large-scale medical disasters. Most students are on a full tuition scholarship. UMass-Amherst is the host program for the Pioneer Valley and Five Colleges Army ROTC programs including: Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Western New England College (WNEC), Springfield College, Westfield State College and American International College (AIC).

Minuteman Marching Band

UMass Amherst has the largest marching band in New England. The Minuteman Marching Band consists of over 390 members and regularly plays at football games. The band was led by George N. Parks until his death in September 2010. The Minuteman Band also won the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 1998 for excellence. The band is well known across the nation for its style and excellence, particularly for its battery and pit ensemble. The band also performs in various other places like Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bands of America, Boston, and on occasion Montreal.

Greek Life

UMass is home to numerous fraternities and sororities, organized under four councils: IFC, NPC, NPHC, and the MGC. Several Greek Life organizations had houses on North Pleasant Street until Alpha Tau Gamma, Inc. which owned a total of nine properties at one point, did not renew the leases, at the request of the University. The North Pleasant Street houses were colloquially known as 'Frat Row'. Most of Alpha Tau Gamma's Properties houses were out of code and were razed November 2006. Alpha Tau Gamma sold the land to the University for $2,500,000 in 2007.[48] ATG, which is the Fraternity of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, then donated $500,001 to endow a new Director of Stockbridge. Currently several sororities & fraternities still live in "Frat Row" including Sigma Delta Tau, Pi Kappa Alpha, Iota Gamma Upsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa and Theta Chi. Behind "Frat Row" or North Pleasant Street there are more fraternity and sorority houses such as Sigma Kappa, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Delta Phi, Pi Kappa Phi, and Delta Chi. Two other houses Chi Omega and Sigma Phi Epsilon are situated on Olympia Drive, on the northern outskirts of the campus. Delta Upsilon is also situated on North Pleasant Street just past Lederle and Totman. Pi Kappa Alpha returned to campus in Spring 2007, and Delta Chi returned in Fall 2008. Alpha Tau Gamma is also located on campus. Alpha Tau Gamma took over a property in the Fall of 2009 that ATG, Inc. owns on Sunset Ave, previously occupied by Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Several organizations do not have houses, such as Phi Sigma Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Delta Chi Alpha Epsilon Pi, Zeta Psi and the NPHC, and the MGC fraternities and sororities. As of September 1, 2009 (2009 -09-01), the membership of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Multicultural Greek Council is composed of the members of the following organizations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and nationals: Delta Xi Phi, Kappa Phi Lambda, Pi Delta Psi, Phi Iota Alpha, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Psi Zeta, Sigma Lambda Beta, and Sigma Lambda Gamma.

The Greek community has several annual traditions, including UDance, the Relay for Life and the annual Greek Week, during which the various fraternities are partnered with sororities, and these teams compete with each other throughout a week of challenges.

The different councils of the Greek system have governing boards, referred to as Executive Boards. The members of these boards are elected or appointed into their positions and hold them for a year term.


The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian is the newspaper of UMass Amherst and is published daily Monday through Friday during the calendar semester. The Collegian is a non-profit student run organization which receives no funding from the University or from student fees. The Collegian operates entirely on advertising revenues. Founded in 1890, the paper began as Aggie Life, became the College Signal in 1901, the Weekly Collegian in 1914 and the Tri-Weekly Collegian in 1956. Published daily since 1967, the Collegian has been broadsheet since January 1994. The Daily Collegian is the largest daily college newspaper in New England and one of the largest in the country.

The Collegian has the most comprehensive coverage of UMass news and campus related events in the area including calendars, features, profiles, announcements, sports, arts & entertainment, news analysis, and opinion.The Collegian is read by undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and residents of the Five College Area. It is delivered daily to Amherst, Hadley, South Hadley and Northampton including Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst.

The Collegian now offers all of its content online at The website provides its readers with more comprehensive coverage of published stories including photographs, videos and podcasts. It also features stories not included in its daily print publication. All of the articles ran by the Daily Collegian can be found on the website the night before it appears in print. Beginning in 2010, the website is expected to expand to include more content including breaking news features.


The Union Video Center is the University of Massachusetts' student-run television station, located in the basement of the Student Union. UVC-TV 19 is part of the University's Housing Cable Services Network and airs on channel 19 to over 11,000 viewers on campus via a closed circuit system. UVC began as the Student Video Project in 1974, and was renamed the Union Video Center in 1978 after growing into a full-fledged television station. Today, UVC-TV 19 serves as a educational training facility on campus for full-time undergraduate students interested in learning about any aspect of television, video production, or cablecasting by providing access to audio and video equipment, studio, and editing workstations. Student employees/members cover campus events and guest lectures, produce original shows, films and documentaries, and air their work on UVC. Membership to UVC gives students access to check out cameras/other video equipment. It also allows each student the opportunity to learn advanced skills for the production field such as training on editing systems and other high quality film equipment. As a Registered Student Organization (RSO), UVC-TV19 allows undergraduate members to participate in the decision-making and day-to-day operations of managing the facility.


The student-operated radio station, WMUA, is a federally licensed, non-commercial broadcast facility serving the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, northern Connecticut, and southern Vermont. Although the station is managed by full-time undergraduate students of the University of Massachusetts, station members can consist of various members of the University (undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff), as well as people of the surrounding communities. WMUA began as an AM station in 1949, and today broadcasts music, news, sports, and public affairs programming. The station is located in the basement of the Lincoln Campus Center.


UMass Minutemen logo

UMass is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The university is a member of the Atlantic Ten Conference, while playing ice hockey in the Hockey East Association. For football, UMass competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), a conference of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; known as Division I-AA before the 2006 season). The football team is scheduled to join the Mid-American Conference, in order to play at Football Bowl Subdivision (the sport's highest level) and become a full member in 2013 with games played at Gillette Stadium beginning in 2012. UMass Amherst currently plays its home games at the 17,000-seat McGuirk Stadium on campus. Gillette seats just under 69,000 people and is 93 miles from Amherst. The move to Gillette will be only temporary, with the money raised from home games used to fund an expansion of McGuirk.[49]

UMass originally was known as the Aggies, later the Statesmen, then the Redmen. In a response to changing attitudes regarding the use of Native American-themed mascots, they changed their mascot in 1972 to the Minuteman, based on the historical "minuteman" relationship with Massachusetts; women's teams and athletes are known as Minutewomen.

UMass considers Boston College, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Connecticut as their biggest rivals.

The UMass Amherst Department of Athletics currently sponsors Men's Intercollegiate Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Ice Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming and Track & Field. They also sponsor Women's Intercollegiate Basketball, Softball, Cross Country, Rowing, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming, Field Hockey, Track & Field and Tennis. Among Club Sports offered are Men's Varsity Wrestling, Men's Rowing, Men's Rugby, Women's Rugby and Men's And Women's Bicycle Racing. Men's and Women's Skiing are expected to be re-certified as Club Sports as of the 2009–2010 winter season following the April 2, 2009 announcement of their discontinuation as varsity sports.[50]

2010 UMass Football Team at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Fight song: "Fight Mass"

The legendary UMass band director, Captain Edwin Sumner, wrote the march in the Spring of 1930.[51]

Fight, fight Massachusetts,
Fight, fight every play,
Fight, fight for a touchdown,
Fight all your might today.

Fight down the field Massachusetts,
The stars and the stripes will gleam,
Fight, Fight for old Bay State,
Fight for the team, team, team.

UMass Cheer

The UMass cheer is performed by students at UMass sporting events. The cheer is often accompanied by the UMass Minutemen Marching Band at the start of a game and after scoring a goal.

Go U
Go U-Mass
Go UMass

Notable people

There are 220,000 University of Massachusetts alumni worldwide.[52] UMass Amherst graduates include Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners, as well as Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winners. Well-known UMass Amherst alumni include, Bill Pullman, Bill Cosby, Natalie Cole, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Rick Pitino, Betty Shabazz, Jack Welch, and Richard Gere.

Notable faculty have included Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr., a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate, Sheila Bair, the current Chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Chuck Close, a celebrated photorealist, Vincent Dethier, a pioneer physiologist and entomologist, and Lynn Margulis, a famed biologist.

Alumni Association

The slogan of the Alumni Association, "You were. You are. UMASS."[53] The University is campaigning[54] to get Alumni to purchase specialty Massachusetts license plates with the UMass Amherst logo. The proceeds from sales of the plates would go to help fund student scholarships. The University Alumni Association operates out of Memorial Hall.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b UMass Amherst: About UMass Amherst
  3. ^ UMass Amherst Installs Campus Outdoor Warning Network, Providing Additional Layer of Emergency Notification – Contingency Planning & Management
  4. ^ a b UMass Amherst: Schools & Colleges
  5. ^ UMass Amherst: We're Number 1! – Feature Story
  6. ^ Carnegie Foundation
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ Frank Prentice Rand, Yesterdays at Massachusetts State College, (Amherst: The Associate Alumni of Massachusetts State College, 1933) pp. 17–19.
  9. ^ Rand, p. 21.
  10. ^ Rand, p. 147
  11. ^ Port, SJ (September 19, 2003). "Amherst is now legally the flagship of UMass system". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved December 11, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ UMass Amherst Office of News & Information : News Releases : UMass Amherst Recruits Outstanding Academic Class, Drawing Top Students in Massachusetts and Across the U.S
  13. ^
  14. ^ University of Massachusetts, Office of the Chancellor, Former Chancellors and Presidents of the Amherst Campus [1]
  15. ^ Chancellor Biography: Chancellor Robert C. Holub. UMass Amherst: Office of the Chancellor, Last Updated: 2009. Accessed: May 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "UMAss struggles to compete". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. 6 September 2010. pp. 8A. 
  17. ^ University Without Walls website Accessed: May 12, 2011.
  18. ^ [Continuing and Professional Education site] Accessed: May 12, 2011.
  19. ^ "W.E.B. Du Bois Library". Emporis. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  20. ^ Letzler, B (November 30, 2006). "Colleges' moves to shake up libraries speak volumes". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Special collections and university archives (SCUA)". UMass Amherst. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  22. ^ UMass Amherst: On the Up and Up – Feature Story
  23. ^ "Incoming Class of 4,100 Students at UMass Amherst Carries Impressive Academic Credentials". UMass Amherst. August 21, 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  24. ^ UMass Amherst: Undergraduate Admissions – Commonwealth College
  25. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Top 400 - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012". The Times Higher Education. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  27. ^ "National Universities Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. 
  28. ^ UMass Amherst computer science rankings
  29. ^ Artificial Intelligence – Computer Science – Graduate Schools – Education – US News
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ The Philosophical Gourmet Report 2009 :: Overall Rankings
  32. ^ Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010
  33. ^ - University of Massachusetts News Release
  34. ^ - Times Higher Education Top Universities by Reputation 2011
  35. ^ Engineering and Technology rankings 2010-2011
  36. ^
  37. ^ "UMass Amherst Isenberg School's MBA Program Earns Four Top Ten National Rankings from Princeton Review". University of Massachusetts. October 13, 2006. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  38. ^ The Top Fifty MFA Programs in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide | Poets & Writers
  39. ^ CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence
  40. ^ Learn and Serve America > President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
  41. ^ Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  42. ^ UMass Amherst Scientists Create Nano Nose With Aim of Sniffing Out Diseased Cells, UMass Amherst, April 23, 2007.
  43. ^ UMass Amherst Scientists Create Fire-Safe Plastic, UMass Amherst, May 30, 2007.
  44. ^ University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center: UMCA page, 'About'. Last Updated: 2011. Accessed: May 14, 2011.
  45. ^ "UMASS STUDENT STRIKE FUELS SPIRIT OF ACTIVISM". Boston Globe. November 18, 1989. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  46. ^ Permaculture garden at UMass gives new meaning to the phrase fresh vegetables The Daily Hampshire Gazzette
  47. ^ a b UMass Embraces Permaculture Food Service Director
  48. ^ Holly Angelo, The Republican. "Facilities and Campus Planning UMass Buys 5 Houses". "UMass Buys 5 Houses". Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  49. ^ Connolly, John (2011-04-20). "UMass moves up to FBS". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  50. ^ UMass baseball program spared, but men's and women's skiing dropped from athletic budget |
  51. ^ UMass Amherst: New Students Orientation – Catch the Spirit
  52. ^ UMass Amherst Alumni Association
  53. ^ UMass Amherst Alumni Association
  54. ^ Order Your UMass Amherst License Plates Today

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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