It’s been 50 years since Gov. Endicott Peabody signed a bill created a Boston campus for the University of Massachusetts, a move that came after UMass Amherst turned down more than 1,000 qualified applicants from the city.

Since then, UMass Boston has evolved dramatically, moving from downtown to Dorchester, merging with Boston State College, and forging a partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate. But the school’s mission, marked by a staunch commitment to urban residents and issues, remains the same. 

For the past seven years, the school’s evolution has been guided by UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley.