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Governor Stars In New U. Massachusetts Commercial

This story was written From Staff Reports, Massachusetts Daily Collegian
On Monday, the University of Massachusetts launched its newest television advertising campaign.

The ad titled "Transform," features Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who preaches the importance of education while touring the campus.

Robert P. Connolly, the associate vice president for communications of the president's office at UMass, produced the television ad along with the other ads the University has aired over the past decade.

"This ad was derived from listening to the governor speak about the power of education, how education changed his life, and from his many comments about the University and how its students, faculty and graduates are key to the state's social and economic future," Connolly said.

Edward F. Blagusezewski, director of the Office of News and Information and the logistical coordinator for the television ad, worked with Governor Patrick and helped choose the locations: in front of the Fine Arts Center, near Professor Derek Lovely's lab and in the Learning Commons of the W.E.B DuBois Library.

In the ad, Patrick commends the influence of education.

"Education is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can transform lives," he said.

The ad appeared after the governor's institution of a new 10-year, $2 billion higher education bond bill. The new legislation will include consent for new building and renovation projects at each of the five UMass campuses. Half the money will be dedicated specifically to the University of Massachusetts campuses and the other half will go to improvements to the state and community colleges.

"This administration is committed to providing our students the highest quality public education possible so that they are prepared to compete with their peers across the country and throughout the world," said Patrick. "If we ask our students to put forth their best effort to succeed then we must be willing to invest in the tools to help them -- their laboratories, their classrooms and their libraries."

Mr. Connolly approached the governor's office with the ad idea earlier this year. The ad was filmed last spring, a couple months after Patrick had been elected. Patrick had been in town to speak at Hampshire College and afterwards came here to shoot the advertisement.

"During his first year in office, Governor Patrick has been widely described as the most ardent champion UMass has ever had in the Corner Office and for a variety of reasons, we see him as a very effective and compelling advocate," said Connolly. "Governor Patrick truly is committed to UMass and its future, and we believe that his enthusiastic endorsement will resonate across the state."

This is not the first time a familiar face has been the center of attention for an UMass television ads. The previous ad titled "Something to be Proud of," won an Emmy. UMass alumni such as former Chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch, comedian Bill Cosby and astronaut Cady Coleman have all been in television ads supporting the University. Professors John L. Sullivan and Dr. Craig Mello have also been in ads. The ad can be viewed at www.massachusetts.edu/transform/index.html.

"This story appears courtesy of UWIRE, a news service powered by student journalists at more than 800 universities. To learn more, visit UWIRE.com."
© 2007 Massachusetts Daily Collegian via U-WIRE