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UMass 150

Jack Welch: How UMass launched my business career

I didn’t exactly come from the “lofty halls of academia,” as the saying goes — my father was a conductor on the Boston-Salem line and my mother ran the household — but my parents made sure I grew up knowing one thing for sure: I was attending college. Back in the 1950s, that was the golden dream of every immigrant family I knew on the North Shore, be the family Irish, Italian, German, Russian, Polish, you name it. It was the American dream in those days — that ordinary people, hard-working people with very little but grit and optimism to their names, could make better lives for themselves, and especially their children, by getting an education and putting that education to work in the real world.

Lucky for me and my parents, UMass-Amherst welcomed me to the Class of ’57.

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