Friday, July 8, 2011


Local Chamber Recognizes Essex Heritage Director

Amesbury Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Essex National Heritage Commission's Executive Director

On May 18, at their Good News Business Salute Breakfast the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce recognized three local organizations: Good Gracious, Essex Heritage and Kramer Scientific/Merrimac Tool Co., Ink. Annie C. Harris, Essex National Heritage Area Executive Director, was recognized for her contributions and efforts in the Merrimack Valley. Ms. Harris has been active for many years in civic and community organizations around the Merrimack Valley. She was a leader in starting a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Commission to bring the Heritage Landscape Inventory program to communities in Essex County.


The Town of Marblehead has a daunting task ahead of them in the immediate future. The town’s Board of Selectmen will have to find a replacement for their long time Town Administrator, Anthony Sasso, who has announced that he will be retiring in the Spring of 2012. The Board of Selectman will be hiring a consultant to help with this task. Mr. Sasso has long been a friend and supporter of Essex Heritage and we will miss his support when he retires.


July 17, 2011, Sunday - SwampWalk: Grand Tour & Where-do-we-go-from-here? Choate Farm to Swamp Walk - 9:00 to noon - As the monthly walk for July, the Bi-Peds will join up with the SwampWalk Grand Tour organized by George Saluto. Meet at Choate Farm parking lot, 401 Locust Street, and hike to the rail bed. Hikers will travel north to the newly constructed Swamp Walk where environmental scientist and SwampWalk pioneer, John Dick, will discuss the project and answer questions. All are welcome. It should be noted that the trail is not yet suitable for wheelchairs. George Saluto has assured me that his SwampWalk team is working to correct that deficiency in the future.

Salem State University

I am on the mailing list for Salem State University and I recently received an e-mail newsletter from the energetic, and eminently competent President of that South Salem University. The letter from President Patricia Meservey was mailed to thousands of alumni and friends of the University and the President used the opportunity to celebrate the first anniversary of being approved as a University. I am certain that the letter was mailed to many of you who might follow this Blog, but in the event you did not see the message, I have taken the liberty to reprint a slightly abridged letter here. Essex Heritage has been an enthusiastic early supporter of the concept that included what was Salem State College into the State University system. The first year as a university passed very quickly and the changes at the school has certainly lived up to expectations and has been a wonderful addition to the region. The following newsletter is presented as we believe that the institution is such an important element of life in this region. The letter recounts some of the milestones and achievements accomplished by Salem State University in the past year and the administration and everyone connected with the new University should be most proud of all that has been accomplished.

Dear Alumni and Friends of Salem State University,

Welcome to “Highlights of Our First Year as a University,” a concise summary of recent scholarly achievements, academic developments, civic engagement initiatives, and campus changes taking place at Salem State University. Our most extraordinary year began with designation as a state university last July, and official recognition on October 26, 2010.

Since then we have dedicated our newest residence facility, Marsh Hall, and broke ground on a magnificent new library and learning commons taking shape on North Campus. It will provide our students and faculty with bright, airy and contemporary facilities that encourage learning along with the technology that will enable them to connect with resources far beyond our Salem campus. Our acquisition and renovation this year of the nearby Weir property on Loring Avenue has allowed us to extend our physical campus as well.

A major undertaking in this academic year was to embark on a comprehensive self-study which included a site visit from an external accrediting organization, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We will learn the outcome of these efforts in the fall. However, it is our sense that we were reviewed as being a strong institution, set on an ambitious agenda and committed to our mission of excellent public higher education.

We also established the Salem State University Civic Engagement Hall of Fame on campus and inducted its first three members this spring: chemistry/physics professor Christine MacTaylor, student Kelsey Utne and administrator Lucy Corchado. We congratulate each of our award recipients and applaud their commitment to improving the quality of life in communities both near and far. To learn more about these dedicated individuals, visit the "News" section of our site.

I am also delighted to introduce some of the first students to graduate since we became a university. I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with these seven members of the class of 2011 as they prepared to attend their first event as alumni, a reception at the Peabody Essex Museum during alumni weekend. I was very impressed with their eloquence and their eagerness to make a difference in the world and I invite you to watch the video of these impressive young Salem State graduates as they express their aspirations for the future as well as their reflections on their university experience. It is with great pride that I introduce Deana Manfra, Phi Pham, Amanda Middleton, Eoghain Hamilton, Juliana Silva, Emmanuel Asonganyi, and James Young from Salem State University’s class of 2011.

You may find this information about commencement 2011 interesting. Our 2011 commencement exercises encompassed three ceremonies, one for the School of Graduate Studies on May 19, and two on May 21 to award undergraduate degrees to students of the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education (morning), and the College of Health and Human Services and the Bertolon School of Business (afternoon).

The student address at the graduate ceremony was delivered by Patricia Hughes of Watertown, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were bestowed upon Elaine S. Marks, education and social services advocate; Ralph Kaplan, owner of Kappy’s Fine Wine & Liquors; and Governor Patrick. Since August 2010, the university has awarded 528 master’s degrees. 
The student speech at the morning ceremony on May 21 was delivered by international student HervĂ© Mukeba Mukuna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Margaret A. McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation, delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were awarded to James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council; James G. Crosby, founder of Crosby’s Marketplace and Ms. McKenna. 

At the May 21 afternoon ceremony, Juliana Silva of Brazil spoke on behalf of her fellow students; David Fanning, executive producer of PBS's Frontline, delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were awarded to Patricia A. Driscoll, COO of Girls Incorporated (Girls Inc.); Richard C. Bane, president, BaneCare Management LLC; and Mr. Fanning.
Salem State awarded a total of 1,324 undergraduate degrees since August 2010.
At Our first “university” alumni weekend earlier this month we celebrated alumni weekend for the first time as a university. Over the course of three days, alumni, faculty and friends came back to reconnect and reminisce about their days at Salem State. The 2011 weekend lineup featured a variety of celebrations, including a theatre alumni reunion and all-star roast of retiring theatre professor Whitney “Whizz” White. Among the many ‘special’ reunions that took place were the following: the class of 1961’s 50th reunion; a reunion of the athletes of the 1980s; a reunion of the Salem State women’s basketball team that won the NCAA championship; a social work reunion on the waterfront; and a 40th reunion of our Salem State Preschool. Other memory-making events included a grand alumni reception at the Peabody Essex Museum; a pub crawl in honor of Salem State’s late economics professor Karl Wesolowski, and an alumni golf tournament. The weekend culminated with a farewell jazz brunch on Sunday. At each of these events, many friendships were re-established, new friends found, stories shared, and new memories made.
Alumni weekend 2011 was a direct reflection of how our alumni, faculty, staff, and friends share their pride as part of Salem State University! View images from the weekend’s activities—do you.

 Recognizing high achievers academic excellence is cause for celebration, especially as we bring another academic year to its conclusion

We invite all of our alumni back to see first-hand what a vibrant institution the university is today. A solid alumni base is the foundation of a strong and competitive university and we ask that you stay connected by attending one of our many alumni, athletic or arts events. 

Our students are counting on your support as we reach the end of our fiscal year, June 30. Your gift today will not only commemorate confirmation of university status, it will also provide needed support for student life and learning at Salem State University
Reprinted from Salem State Newsletter

Some Material Reprinted with permission from Essex Heritage Newsletter

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