Alumni Association’s Advisory Board looks to fill big shoes on Board of Trustees as Maryanne Hammond steps down

February 18, 2022
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

In the beginning, retired schoolteacher and Worcester State alumna Maryanne Hammond ’69, M.ED ’72, M.ED ’77 wasn’t sure she was qualified to take a seat on the University’s prestigious Board of Trustees. The 10-member board governs University policy, strategic objectives, fiscal decision making and the university’s upper management. The president of the university reports to the BOT. 

It’s a big job. And the board is filled with leaders from across sectors – law, banking, private industry, nonprofits. So, when Hammond was asked to consider filling the seat that is selected by the Alumni Advisory Board, she was a bit daunted. At the interview for the role, the longtime educator saw a familiar face – Michael Borowiec ’10.

“I had him in the first grade,” she says with a smile. “One of my first graders interviewed me. I told him, ‘Michael, you go easy on me.’ “

Of course, the Alumni Association Advisory Board knew Hammond’s dedication to Worcester State was all she needed to make a difference. And what a difference she has made. As Hammond’s two-term, 10-year tenure as the alumni representative to the Board of Trustees expires, her impact is indelible – from countless decisions that have guided the institution’s academic success, to capital campaigns that have reshaped the campus, to those projects she took a personal interest in – creating the Student Emergency Fund with David Bedard of the Foundation Board of Directors and integrating a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into all the board’s committees and bylaws.

The Alumni Association’s Advisory Board is actively recruiting for their next appointment to the board. The deadline to apply is March 11. Guidelines and the application process can be found here.

“These will be big shoes to fill, for sure,” said Tara Hancock, M.S. ’06, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Engagement. “As a trustee, Maryanne’s involvement and generosity at Worcester State have been tremendous and we are grateful for her 10 years of service on the Board of Trustees. We also know we have incredibly talented and dedicated graduates who are ready to take on this important role.” 

The Trustees meet at least seven times per year as a group, and each sits on various committees: Academic and Student Development, Finance and Facilities, Human Resources, Planning and Development. The Alumni trustee attends the full board meetings of the Alumni Association’s Advisory Board, which meets four to six times a year. Trustees are also invited to participate in a variety of special events including Convocation, Commencement, the Pinning Ceremony for graduating nurses, and alumni events like Homecoming, the Worcester State Foundation Golf Tournament and the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

For her part, Hammond did it all. She has spent her years as a Trustee fully immersed in the life of the campus. To her, a good trustee is someone excited for the opportunity: “You have to want to do it. You have to understand what you are getting into. It’s big. At the same time, while higher education is different, it is basically still a school. Our responsibility is to do what’s right for the university.”

She has a few pieces of advice for her successor: First, get a mentor. She was mentored by former BOT member, the late George Albro, ’65, M.Ed. ’68. Second, do your homework. Being a trustee requires a lot of preparation and review of documents, proposals and financial statements. Lastly, keep your eyes on the future.

“You always have to be thinking about the big picture as a trustee,” she said. “Not just the here and now, but when we are not here.”

Photo: Maryanne Hammond ’69, M.ED ’72, M.ED ’77 carries the Worcester State University flag at Commencement.

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