▲ College administrators found ways to get creative with existing spaces. Months after the letter-writing campaign, Cataldo and Houlihan began negotiations for the land, and the Springs Road property was finally secured in 1978. It would be more than another decade before the campus actually made its move to the Marist property. While plans stalled to complete the move to the Marist property, another opportunity presented itself. In 1981, the same year the first Middlesex Board of Trustees was established with attorney Paul Galvani at the helm, the Francis Wyman Middle School in nearby Burlington was being vacated, and the college was given the option to rent space and expand there. President Houlihan approached Cowan to ask if she’d be interested in moving her entire business department there. Cowan thinks her noisemaking with the letter-writing campaign made it clear she wanted the chance to help the college get bigger. “He told me if we moved, we’d have access to more space, more equipment. My division didn’t want to go, but my opinion was, ‘Get me out of Buildings 8 and 9, let me get to some space where people could function better,’” she recalled. “I sold my staff because President Houlihan made me a promise that we were going to have a whole new start there. I wanted to give him a reason to invest in us and our area.” “Moving in there, it was like a miracle to me. We did the entire move ourselves. I can remember planting flowers with the students and having this feeling of new hope growing at the same time,” she recalled. MCC’s business was literally booming. LO OK TO THE NORTH And, with that burgeoning growth came another expansion plan, this one looking northward, to the Mill City of Lowell. The college was already running a Nursing program, one of its core offerings, in partnership with Lowell General Hospital. But the push toward the Mill City was also being driven by the State House, due in great part to Governor Michael Dukakis, who passionately believed that the college needed to be rooted in an urban setting. 33