University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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UMass Dartmouth logo

Size 710 acres (2.9 km²)
Established 1895
School type Public
Location Dartmouth, Mass., USA
Enrollment ¹ 8,003 undergraduate
773 graduate
Faculty ² 330 full-time
182 part-time
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue, White and Gold
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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a multi-college university, part of the state wide university system of the University of Massachusetts, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, also known as UMass Dartmouth, has nearly 7,000 students, more than 2,500 of whom live on campus. It offers more than 61 undergraduate programs of study and 19 graduate programs, and has more than 300 full-time faculty.

The Dartmouth campus traces its roots to 1895. In that year the Massachusetts legislature chartered the New Bedford Textile School and the Bradford Durfee Textile School in Fall River. These were combined in 1962 to create the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, expanding to become Southeastern Massachusetts University by 1969. SMU was merged into the UMass system and adopted its present name in 1991.

UMass Dartmouth specializes in training engineers, health care workers and teachers. The school also expects to host the University of Massachusetts School of Law, as the trustees of the state's university system voted during 2004 to purchase the nearby Southern New England School of Law, an unaccredited private institution.


The buildings of the campus were designed by architect Paul Rudolph to distinguish the campus from the outside world yet still provide a social environment. Rudolph made both the exterior and interior of each building of concrete, an essential element of the style known as Brutalism,and he provided the buildings with large windows, giving inhabitants the feeling of being outdoors. The stairs were made relatively narrow, ostensibly in order to slow people down and allow them to appreciate the campus. Atriums also were put in the Group 1 building to give people a place to socialize between sections of the halls. The main door of each building faces towards the campanile, keeping students within the Acedemic Life area, where buildings for classes are located. Large mounds of earth also stand between the parking lots, making the lots invisible from within the Acedemic Life area.

Many rumors have spread about Rudolph and his design. One of the most common is that Rudolf was a Satanist, that sets of campus benches adopt a plan that resembles the number 666 (the number of the beast), and that the buildings also adopt the shape of a six. The stairs also are said to be in three groups of six, each stair being six inches high. Some claims also say that there are 666 stairs in the campanile. Rudolph, however, was not a Satanist, and many of the supposed hexagonal forms actually are octagons.

Another rumor about the architect claims that Rudolph killed himself by jumping from the top of the campanile shortly once the U-Mass Dartmouth campus opened. This too is false; Rudolph died of cancer from asbestos exposure in 1997. Some believe that the flat roofs of the buildings were meant to be used to park flying cars in the future, with the stairs leading to the roofs seen as evidence. In truth, the roofs resemble those of Sarasota High School in Florida, a project that sees considerably less snow than Massachusetts. Flat roofs are a hallmark of Modernist architecture, and the stairs simply provide access to the roofs for conventional maintenance.

Some students also believe that the architecture is designed after the mental institution in the film version of A Clockwork Orange. The similarities are noticable but coincidental: any two Brutalist buildings will appear similar.

Finally, because a state educational television network originally was planned for the campus, requiring a transmitter or perhaps even underground channels for coaxial cable (which apparently were indicated on the original plans), some believe that the campus contains a walkable network of tunnels.


  • Graham, Kit & Keenan, Patrick (April 7, 2005). "Campus architecture myths debunked". The Torch. p. 1 & 4.

External link

Template:Massachusetts Higher Education


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