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J
im Campbell has a long history with Lowell and with Middlesex.
As Lowell's city manager from 1987-1991, he worked with MCC's
first three presidents to get the Lowell campus up and running.
And now, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Campbell is back on
campus, working closely with MCC's fourth president, James C. Mabry.
"I feel like I've come full circle," said Campbell, who was appointed to
the board in December 2015 by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Born and raised in Lowell, and still a resident, Campbell helped run the
city first as assistant city manger for eight years, then city manager
for five during a period of dramatic revitalization. He credits two late
politicians, State Sen. Paul Sheehy and former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas,
with bringing the college to Lowell.
"A lot of people consider Paul Sheehy the father of Middlesex in
Lowell," said Campbell. "Paul Tsongas was also key he was such a
visionary. He had a good relationship with then-Gov. Michael Dukakis,
whose father immigrated to Lowell from Greece.
"At the time in 1987 when the college first opened in a couple of
rented classrooms in the Wannalancet Mills Building we all knew
Middlesex would be an asset for the city. But, we never knew how
great an asset it would turn out to be."
James E. Houlihan, MCC's first president, presided over the opening of
the Lowell campus in its temporary location, explained Campbell. Then
Evan Dobelle, second college president, helped secure state funding
to create permanent campuses in Bedford and Lowell. Carole Cowan,
third Middlesex president, worked closely with the city to secure the
former Wang Educational Center as MCC's permanent campus location,
which opened in 1991.
"It just all gelled geographically. We had UMass Lowell on one end,
MCC on the other end, and Lowell High School in the middle," he said.
"We looked at Middlesex as another anchor for the downtown. We had
no idea it would grow like this."
President Mabry, the fourth Middlesex president to work with
Campbell, believes that with Campbell leading the Board of Trustees,
MCC will continue its success story. "Jim Campbell brings a wealth of
knowledge and experience to our Board of Trustees," said Mabry.
"I look forward to continuing our work on current projects, like
transforming Lowell's Boston & Main Railroad Depot into an arts-
education center for the college, as well as on future projects and
initiatives. He is committed to the success of the college and the
success of our students."
As chairman, Campbell channels a lot of his energy connecting the
college to the community, and attends countless Middlesex events.
He has a particular focus on workforce development. "I see my role as
being the face of the college especially with the business community.
Board of Trustees Chairman Embraces
the Role of College Ambassador
James J.
Campbell
TRUSTEE
PROFILE
"We looked at Middlesex as another
anchor for the downtown. We had
no idea it would grow like this."
James J. Campbell
Chairman of the MCC Board of Trustees
Former Lowell City Manager (1987-1991)
SP17_Profiles.indd 14
SP17_Profiles.indd 14
4/12/17 8:20 AM
4/12/17 8:20 AM