UMass Boston Welcomes More than 1,000 Students During Move-in Days

Colleen Locke and Crystal Valencia | Sat Aug 31, 2019

More than 1,000 students and their families, coming from as far away as Haiti, Pakistan, China, and Japan, moved into UMass Boston’s residence halls this weekend.

Students arrived from everywhere, with 76 percent calling Massachusetts home, 16 percent arriving from out of state, and eight percent international. The residential community will closely resemble the diversity of UMass Boston undergraduates, with 52 percent new students of color residing in the halls.
“It is exciting to see all the new faces in our residence halls,” noted Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman. “There isn’t a more beautiful dorm complex in the country and I envy our students their stunning views of the water and the campus!  Most of all, I’m thrilled to welcome them all to UMass Boston and to let them know that I’ll see them in the dinner line soon.” 

Ali Shahid and family 

Move-in Day is a big deal for students like undecided major Ali Shahid, who’s a first generation student from Fall River. “I’m excited to be in the city and on my own,” he said.

Eleanor Coffin

UMass Boston’s location was also a big deal for psychology major Eleanor Coffin. She is living with two of her classmates from Haverhill High School and a fourth person in the East Residence Hall.

 “I’ve always liked the city and my friends were coming here so I figured why not apply, and once I got in I toured and it was so beautiful,” Coffin said. 

A team of more than 125 faculty, staff, and students, along with 31 Resident Assistants, helped students haul in everything from refrigerators and microwaves to plants, coffee makers, lacrosse equipment, and instruments.

Ali Baker-Hughes with Della Hughes and Bev Baker

Ali Baker-Hughes, a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major from Sudbury, had one of the more off-beat items in her bins: hot sauce. She was first in line along with her parents Della Hughes and Bev Baker. 

Why hot sauce?

“Because I love hot sauce!” she said.

Mohammed and Bethany Lotfi
The 2019-20 academic year begins Tuesday, September 3, as noted on Mohammed Lotfi’s white board. Lotfi, who is an international relations major from Fall River, will be commuting to Boston University three times a week for the ROTC program housed there.

“I really liked the location, the affordability of it,” Lotfi said about why he chose UMass Boston. “And I’m really excited to be next to the city. I want to take advantage of the opportunities in the city—the resources.”

Cars approaching residence halls

“A host of volunteers and staff greeted residents and families as we welcomed our newest Beacons, including some returning residents to a new academic year,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Gail DiSabatino said. “This new campus tradition of move-in is just one of the many ways we celebrate and demonstrate that we are ready to engage all of our students in a truly transformational experience outside of the classroom.”
The 1,077-bed, 260,000-square-foot residence halls, located at the campus’s Mt. Vernon Street entrance with views of both the harbor and Boston skyline, consist of two buildings, ranging from seven to twelve stories, offering a mixture of styles ranging from single-occupancy apartments to four-person units. It includes living-learning amenities open to the entire campus community, such as seminar rooms, study lounges, and a 500-seat dining commons.

Minh Tranh and family
The buildings feature tutoring and course support in dedicated learning spaces, a faculty-in-residence, and three co-sponsored living-learning communities — Social Justice, Beacon Explorers, and Green Planet.
Professor of Psychology Tahirah Abdullah returns this year as the university’s faculty-in-residence, living in the residence halls, hosting programs, and attending events with residents throughout the academic year.

Skala family moving in

The Skala family from Wilbraham was one of many who took advantage of one of the early move-in days offered this year. And because the main move-in was on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, instead of Sunday as it was in 2018, there was a full long weekend for welcome programming, more time for residents to build relationships with each other and their RAs, and additional opportunities to become acquainted with the residence halls and campus.
Exciting and fun welcome programming for residents and the entire campus community can be found at
About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston, recognized for its innovative research, is metropolitan Boston’s public university and 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