The University of Massachusetts Lowell will establish a new cultural and academic center as a resource for the university and community to explore and celebrate the history and contributions of Portuguese people in the United States and abroad.
The center will sponsor local events, offer study-abroad programs and coordinate faculty collaborations with Portuguese universities in Lisbon and Braga. Portuguese language and culture courses will also be offered through UMass Lowell’s Cultural Studies Department. The new UMass Lowell center is funded in part by generous gifts from UMass Lowell alumnus Mark Saab ’81 and Elisia Saab of Lowell and Luis Pedroso of Hampton, N.H.
University and community leaders will launch the Center for Portuguese Partnerships during a reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28 at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell. The event will also kick off the center’s new speaker series with a reading from author Anthony Barcellos, whose novel “Land of Milk and Money” chronicles the lives of Portuguese immigrants who own a dairy farm in California.
Event speakers are scheduled to include Consul General Paulo Cunha Alves of the Portuguese Consulate in Boston and UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. UMass Dartmouth will collaborate with UMass Lowell on programs available through the new center.
“The Center for Portuguese Partnerships strengthens UMass Lowell’s global reach and focus, expanding opportunities for international research and study for our students and faculty. At the same time, it will create another connection between the university and the Portuguese community here in the Merrimack Valley through programs and events that celebrate and highlight Portuguese culture,” said Luis M. Falcon, dean of the UMass Lowell College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Along with Barcellos’ presentation, the reception will include Portuguese food, music and a photography exhibit depicting the immigrant experience in Lowell. Elisia Saab and Pedroso, who are of Portuguese descent, are scheduled to attend.
The new speaker series will bring Portuguese artists and scholars to UMass Lowell. Upcoming speakers include anthropologist Cristiana Bastos, who will visit the campus on Tuesday, April 30 to discuss her work at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon in Portugal.
The March 28 event is presented by the UMass Lowell College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences dean, the Office of University Advancement and the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas, in collaboration with the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at UMass Dartmouth. Members of the public who wish to attend are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-934-2957 in advance.
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.