In 1984, portions of the building were demolished, until the Lowell Historic Board stopped full demolition to preserve the building’s architecture. In 1989, the building’s owner donated the property to the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, which eventually transferred ownership to the federal government, which later transferred ownership to Middlesex. Eventually, the Boston & Maine building will house the college’s academic arts programs, including theater, dance and music classes. Middlesex has also embarked on exciting new sustainability initiatives to engage students in efforts to make the campuses more “green” and environmentally friendly. Most recently, MCC has partnered with the Boston Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Home Base Program to work with wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Middlesex has become a leader in the state education system on welcoming veterans onto its campuses, with new Veterans Resource Centers open on each campus. As part of the celebration of the college’s 40th anniversary, Middlesex recognized its first two presidents in 2011. In April, the Lowell Campus Library was dedicated to MCC’s second president, Evan Dobelle. And in September, the Bedford Campus Library was dedicated to Dr. James Houlihan. THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT College leaders remain enthusiastic about the years to come. Alves said enrollment numbers continue to spiral upwards, reaching the highest totals in the college’s history. “In tough economic times, students are realizing what an affordable and accessible education they can get at Middlesex, and our numbers reflect that,” she said. Linnehan said the support of the college’s Foundation continues to grow, with more and more donors and sponsors of college events coming forward every year. And Cowan remains supremely confident in the college’s future. “For 40 years, the people at Middlesex have found a way to persevere. It hasn’t always been easy, and it’s not going to be easy moving forward,” Cowan said. “But, the spirit of our faculty and staff is indomitable, and our students continue to provide us with the brightest hope for our future. We owe it to all of our community partners and students to give them nothing less than our best efforts. That’s just how we do it at Middlesex.” 113