The Federal Building opened in 2004. Jay Linnehan, President Cowan, Senator John Kerry, and Congressman Marty Meehan in 1996. Senator Paul Tsongas delivers a commencement address. Senator Edward M. Kennedy with President Houlihan on the Bedford campus. ▲ ▲ ▲ A subsequent formal application was approved in July of 1996, and the GSA, the U.S. Department of Education, and numerous elected officials, including then-Congressman Marty Meehan and U.S. Senator John Kerry, convened on the front steps of the building to announce the transition. In March of 1998, the deed was executed. State funding was aligned in 2000, design began later that year, and construction began in April 2002, lasting nearly two years. Since its opening in 2004, the rehabilitated Federal Building has become one of the most prominent properties in downtown Lowell, and is frequently used as a meeting place to welcome travelers to the city. Besides classrooms, the structure also houses the Lowell Campus library. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is contained within the Lowell National Historical Park’s historic district, the Downtown Lowell Historic District, and the Lowell Preservation District. In December 2006, the building was named for F. Bradford Morse, the former 5th District U.S. Congressman and Under-Secretary General for Political and General Assembly Affairs at the United Nations. P O L I T I C A L PA R T N E R S Throughout her tenure, Cowan has worked with dozens of elected officials, from the members of Lowell’s City Council, Bedford’s Board of Selectmen, to the representatives and senators in the Massachusetts State House, as well as those who serve in the halls of the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Cowan said legislative support at all levels is what has allowed Middlesex to rise in prominence and achieve so many of the benchmarks of her tenure. “We can have the best intentions, the greatest of plans, and a grand design on how we want things to happen on our campuses, but we count on the support of our legislative delegations to help us realize many of those goals by helping us navigate so many channels, at the local, state and federal levels,” Cowan said. 77