Founders Day at UMass

14 May

The 29th of April is a significant day in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s history. That day is called Founders Day, and this past Tuesday was the one hundred and forty-fifth anniversary when Governor John A. Andrews signed a bill to fund a state school for farming and agricultural sciences. Through time, that small school flourished into what we now know as UMass Amherst.

To celebrate this significant event on campus the University provided an outside barbeque, appearances from the UMass Minutemen Marching Band, Governor Deval Patrick and the University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson. However, due to New England’s sporadic weather, the event was moved inside into tents and the Fine Arts Center. Students were notified the night before about the change via e-mail.

The on and off rain showers did cause a dip in attendance, but those who came out to see the governor speak said they were happy with what they saw. “I like the tents, I think it’s great, and inside the Concert Hall it was nice,” said Katelyn Haggerty, a sophomore Music major.

Not every student shared the same enthusiasm, however. “I don’t even know why I’m here. I’ve never heard of Founders Day,” said Devin Teagan, a senior and Food Service employee who was working in the food tents. Other students at the celebration noticed that most of the people in attendance were high schoolers on a field trip.

Altogether, there were positive and negative reviews of the event. Positive in that many different types of people from the Amherst community came to celebrate. And negative as the weather ruined this outdoor event. Whether positive or negative, Founder’s Day is a huge achievement in the history of UMass and definitely should be celebrated in one way or another.

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