Left vacant by Wang Laboratories, the former corporate education center in downtown Lowell would be the next home for MCC’s academic expansion. ▲ On August 23, 1990, after considerable vetting and wooing through the political and administrative canals of Lowell, the MCC Board of Trustees voted to locate its permanent Lowell campus in the abandoned Wang Corporate Education Center in Kearney Square. The building had been constructed during the peak of the computer conglomerate’s ascent to prominence in the mid-1980s, but became an abandoned white elephant in Lowell’s downtown when Wang fell on hard times. Public debate raged on for weeks as the college’s plans to purchase the adjacent hotel became public, a plan that was met with great resistance from city leaders who didn’t want to see a public hotel and business absorbed by the college. Finally, with the hotel severed from the real estate deal, the Commonwealth would eventually complete its purchase of the Wang facility for $11.5 million. A Lowell Sun editorial about MCC’s downtown relocation said that “attracting a college campus to any site in the downtown has long been a dream of city planners. MCC Downtown, should it become a reality, will be a feather in the cap for the city in any location, and will undoubtedly play a vital role in plans to rejuvenate a sluggish downtown. The prospect of thousands of college students, many of whom hold part- and full-time jobs, matriculating in close proximity to the city’s retail district should prove to be a welcome economic boom.” The college trustees had their hands full that season. Even as the deal to secure the Wang building was being negotiated, on September 20, 1990, the announcement was made that the MCC Board of Trustees had chosen the college’s third president. And this time, the candidate came from within: former MCC professor and college administrator, Carole Cowan. 53