NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has approved two appointments to the MCLA Board of Trustees. Susan Gold, who has served on the Board since 2010, was reappointed to a second term, and was recently elected Chair of the Board at the meeting held on April 7. In addition, John Barrett III, former mayor of North Adams, has also been appointed to the Board. They will serve as trustees to the Board for five-year terms.

MCLA President James F. Birge said he is delighted with Gov. Baker’s appointments to the College’s Board of Trustees.

“We are fortunate to benefit from the dedication and expertise of Susan Gold, who served as co-chair of two presidential search committees. Her willingness to commit to this critical position speaks to her deep dedication to MCLA, and I am grateful her service,” Birge said. “In addition, as one of the first political leaders in the nation to recognize the importance of the arts as an economic development tool, John Barrett will be a valuable addition to the Board. I look forward to working with him, and with Trustee Gold, as we continue to advance the work of MCLA.”

“Lieutenant Governor Polito and I congratulate the trustees on their new roles and thank them for their willingness to step forward and serve the Commonwealth,” Baker said. “Board oversight is critically important, and we rely on their expertise and leadership to be strong stewards of our institutions of higher education.”

“I look forward to working with all trustees as we ensure that students are getting the maximum value out of their education and are meeting the workforce needs of the future,” said Education Secretary Jim Peyser. “I thank all of the outgoing trustees for their service and contributions to our public higher education system.”

Gold served as co-chair of the two recent Presidential Search Committees. In this important leadership role she worked closely with MCLA’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni, along with community and business leaders, to identify the right candidate for MCLA.

Gold also served as co-chair of MCLA’s very successful comprehensive campaign, “Sowing Seeds for Success: The MCLA Campaign for the Future.” A respected community volunteer who has lent her expertise to a number of organizations in Berkshire County, Gold has a strong connection to MASS MoCA, where she serves as a Trustee.

During Barrett’s 26 years as mayor, North Adams reinvented itself after losing more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs in the 1970s and ’80s. His achievements include the leadership role he played in converting a 780,000-square-foot, abandoned mill into the largest museum of contemporary art in the United States.

The success of MASS MoCA eventually led to the unique reuse of other abandoned mill buildings in North Adams. Barrett now works with communities who are exploring ways to incorporate the arts into their economic development In addition to his work with local communities, he has been the keynote speaker at several conferences throughout the U.S.

Barrett, who earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s of Administration degrees from the College, also received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from MCLA. In addition, he is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College. He has served on the North Adams School Committee and the MASS MoCA Cultural Development Commission.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.​

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