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Actress Meryl Streep to create 2 scholarships for UMass Lowell students

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 22, 2014 01:46 PM

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Actress Meryl Streep will create two scholarship funds for students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell when she visits the school next month, campus officials announced Wednesday.

The Meryl Streep Endowed Scholarship Fund will help English majors pay for their education. Streep has no official connection with the school.

Streep will also establish the Joan Hertzberg Endowed Scholarship to support students who excel in mathematics, officials said. The scholarship is named after Streep’s former classmate at Vassar College who transferred to Williams College and went on to become valedictorian of the college’s first graduating class that included women.

Hertzberg later earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and had a successful career as a therapist, author and teacher in the San Francisco area before she died in October.

Streep is scheduled to discuss her five-decade-long acting career at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on Feb. 5 during an event called “A Conversation with Meryl Streep,” officials said.

UMass Lowell English professor and bestselling author Andre Dubus III will moderate the talk with the Academy Award winner, and Streep is also expected to answer questions from the audience.

Co-sponsored by the university’s English Department, Theatre Arts Program and College of Fine Arts, it will be the second event of the university’s “Chancellor’s Speaker Series,” school officials said.

The university said it invites individuals at the top of their field to visit the campus and host an event in the series. Ticket sales and sponsorships from those events help raise money to create scholarships.

The series' first talk featured author Stephen King and raised about $100,000 for a scholarship fund he established for UMass Lowell students.

Campus officials said they expect Streep's visit will help raise more than $100,000 for the two scholarships she plans to establish.

Tickets to the events are sold to the general public. Students with a UMass Lowell ID can attend for free if they secure tickets ahead of time.

To learn more information about the event and to buy tickets, click here.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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