Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass and Hancock Shaker Village create new Historical Preservation and Design graduate program

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is joining forces with Hancock Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark in the Berkshires, to offer a new graduate program in Historic Preservation and Design starting in the fall of 2010. The program offers prospective students the unique opportunity to enliven traditional coursework with onsite experience at the historically rich village.

Hancock Shaker Village was founded in 1783 by a community of Shakers, who practiced a unique form of Protestantism. Today, the village consists of 20 buildings and has been rigorously maintained since its inception by experts in historical preservation.

“When the HSV museum opened it was a leader in the preservation movement,” said Ellen Spear, president and CEO of HSV. “And this was before the country passed the 1976 Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.,”

The Standards for Historic Preservation were passed to ensure comprehensive care and upkeep for the nation’s historic treasures.

Prospective students of the program gain from both its synthesis of academics and real-world experience, as well as the opportunity to learn from a culture that embraced sustainable practices. The Shakers embraced alternative energy sources from water to wind power, and maintained self-sustaining farms and well-designed buildings, many of which still stand today.

“The Shakers’ pragmatism and economy never overtaxed the environment, as far as using too much – they were always considerate of the environment and their surroundings,” said Stephen Bedford, the Historic Preservation and Design program director and a 20-year veteran of architectural history.

“There’s a lot to learn from the construction of these buildings,” said Bedford, “and the program is a great way to expand knowledge about building in general, as well as how to care for and preserve historic buildings that have different needs than modern ones.”

Before finding it a home at UMass, Bedford shopped the curriculum to a number of institutions without success.

“This program came to be largely through the commitment of myself and Ellen [Spear] to the curriculum we had created, and it wasn’t until we found an institution with both the resources and interest to really get this on its feet,” said Bedford.

Bedford worked hard to assemble a faculty of some of the field’s most esteemed experts, including UMass professors Max Page and Marla Miller. Page is an architectural historian and Miller is an historian specializing in early American culture and women’s labor. Joining them is Robert Adam, one of the leading preservation educators in the country, whose expertise is bolstered by his long career in restorative carpentry.

Both Spear and Bedford expect the Historic Preservation and Design degree program to also interest working professionals involved with buildings and structures; architects, engineers, carpenters and masons.

“Like many graduate programs – and this is very important in today’s economy – this is something you can complete without leaving your job, it meets intensively twice a week,” said Bedford.

Joel Martin, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities said he is enthused that UMass is pairing real-world skills with its academic offerings.

 “I think it’s exciting to connect our excellent academic programs in historic preservation at UMass Amherst with an important historic site in New England because it will connect theory and practice in a powerful way. Students will be able to integrate what they learn in courses with work in the field and gain important insight into the real world challenges associated with a historic site,” he said.

Michael Toomey can be reached at

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