DARTMOUTH — Dr. Robert E. Johnson was inaugurated today as the 10th Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and in his inauguration promised students, “If you will fight for your dreams, we will fight for you.”

Speaking to 500 students, faculty, friends, business and government leaders, higher education presidents, and partners from his days as president of Becker College in Worcester, Dr. Johnson said, “To our students, I say simply, this is your time. If you will fight for your dreams, we will fight for you.”

“Your generation will travel to Mars,” he said. “You will stop global warming. You will eliminate hunger and poverty in the world. This is your time and I call upon you and your generation to invent the future in a way the world has never seen. I call upon you to seek out and build a better world that is grounded in civility, mutual respect, and with the greatest sense of humanity.”

Tailyn Clark/UMass Dartmouth Photo

Chancellor Johnson’s inauguration capped off Inventing Our Future week at UMass Dartmouth. Thousands of people came to campus to experience academic, cultural, and civic engagement activities and left with a new understanding of the university. To read more about Inventing Our Future week, please click here.

“This is a milestone moment for the school and its students, the UMass system and our Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, who collaborated with Dr. Johnson on statewide education initiatives and issues related to Worcester.

Congressman William Keating attended the event and spoke about the amount of potential at UMass Dartmouth, “UMASS Dartmouth continues to build upon its storied heritage, as it accelerates into the future under the leadership of Chancellor Johnson. The university plays a vital role in the region and I look forward to the Chancellor's vision."

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, told the audience, “Today, we’re inaugurating a chancellor who fundamentally understands what it means to shape institutions of higher learning. He is a passionate advocate for higher education and its power to build communities and transform lives ... [He] is the world-class leader this world-class institution deserves.”

Read the full text of Dr. Johnson's speech here.

--UMass Dartmouth release