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Statement on the passing of Congressman John Olver from President Vander Hooven

Congressman John Olver speaking at the dedication of the MWCC Turbines.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman John Olver. He was a giant in our region and a valued friend and partner of Mount Wachusett Community College. He was a strong voice in both the Massachusetts State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives, serving with incredible integrity. Representing the First Congressional District, Olver was central to MWCC’s energy and sustainability efforts. In fact, one of our two wind turbines was dedicated in his honor, reflecting his leadership in securing the first federal grants that made the project a reality.

Congressman Olver was a Co-founder of the House Climate Change Caucus and served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee; and on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

His focus on key issues made living and working in the region better for our students, faculty and staff. His top policy priorities were so important to our community college and the greater community. They included affordable and energy-efficient housing, protecting the environment, expanding access to affordable health care, improving education and job training, providing new transportation options and maintaining our transportation infrastructure.

Many environmental preservation projects in Massachusetts are a result of his work in Congress. His support for MWCC’s energy initiatives was integral in the college’s renewable energy success, including securing a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the wind turbine project. Congressman Olver attended the wind turbine dedication ceremony at MWCC on April 27, 2011. The event celebrated successful completion of the $9 million project featuring two 396-foot, 1.65-megawatt wind turbines. This is a link to a short video of him speaking at the ceremony:  Congressman Olver speaks about MWCC – YouTube

First District Congressman John Olver, was passionate about transportation, securing $40 million for Route 2 and was a leader in convening leaders to address the region strategically when he advocated for an economic stimulus for the “Northern Tier” of Massachusetts.

Olver was elected to the state Senate in 1972 and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991. A former chemistry professor at UMass, Amherst, Congressman Olver earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from M.I.T.

James L. Vander Hooven, Ed.D
Mount Wachusett Community College