More Than 350 Honored During Years of Service Celebration

Colleen Locke | Fri Nov 16, 2018

Faculty & Staff Who Hit a Service Milestone Within Last Two Years Honored

UMass Boston’s Office of Human Resources honored 353 faculty and staff members who celebrated their 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, and 50th work anniversaries in 2017 and 2018 on Wednesday.

“It says something about the extraordinary world that we are a part of that we have so many extraordinary employees who have worked here for so long,” Interim Chancellor Katherine S. Newman said. “The fact that we have so many long, loyal, and accomplished employees says something about the organization this is and the kind of employees you are. We are very, very fortunate to have you and we know that.”

Two faculty members and one staff member honored at Wednesday’s Chancellor’s Years of Service Celebration have worked at UMass Boston for 50-plus years. Paul Bookbinder, associate professor of history; Vendela Carlson, the office manager for the Philosophy Department; and Dennis Wortman, associate professor of mathematics; reached that milestone last year.

“They have in effect devoted their entire academic and professional careers to UMass Boston,” Newman said. “Your commitment to the university is strong, and a strong university comes out of that commitment.”

Paul Bookbinder and Vendela Carlson

Bookbinder, pictured above with Carlson, says in looking back at his now 51 years at UMass Boston, he is particularly proud of winning the first Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. The students kept him coming back.

“I have always felt that UMass Boston offered students opportunities that enabled them to change their lives,” Bookbinder said. “The range of ages [and] the growing diversity of the student population have been attractions. Veterans, returning parents, younger students who started at vocational high schools, and then junior colleges [all discovered] new worlds of stimulation and learning.”

UMass Boston Poet Laureate Duncan Nelson, at home in hospice, delivered a humorous, heartfelt ode to the honorees. He closed by saying, “So now, at last, I shall subside, as one who has long taken pride, in this school, upon which, I’ve had such a great ride, and in my heart, shall forever abide.”

Duncan Nelson delivers his ode from home

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 10 colleges and graduate schools serve more than 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit