The Pine Manor College Inspire Program has brought together people who have beaten the odds and achieved significant accomplishments. These inspiring individuals have shared their stories and learnings with our students and our greater community.


Dr. Tommy Chang

Monday, December 4, 2017 

Thank you to the truly inspiring INSPIRE Program Speaker, Dr. Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools.

Born in Taiwan, Tommy Chang arrived in the United States at the age of six, and grew up in Los Angeles where he became a high school biology teacher and helped to found a charter school in a nearby community before joining the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), one of the nation’s largest and most diverse school districts. There his mission to serve 135 schools and 95,000 students focused on the innovation and transformation of learning to inspire excellence.

Since July 2015, Dr. Chang has led Boston Public Schools, the largest public school system in New England, with the implementation of a “Culture of We” – a concept that embraces greater collaboration and two-way communication between the district’s staff, students, families, and community members.

Dr. Chang promotes the three core values of equity, coherence, and innovation with a focus on fostering safe, welcoming, and sustaining learning environments for all students. He continues to publicly stand up for the rights of students of all backgrounds, including immigrant and transgender students.

Dr. J. Keith Motley

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Pine Manor College Inspire Program invites people who have beaten the odds and achieved significant success to come and share their stories and inspire our students and our community. It was a great honor and much fun to host Dr. J. Keith Motley as the Fall 2017 Inspire Speaker. Through personal encounters Dr. Motley shared stories of his childhood, his mentors and his career, encouraging everyone to get engaged and “move to the front of the classroom - where success happens”. 

About Dr. J. Keith Motley

Dr. J. Keith Motley served as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2017. Currently Dr. Motley serves as a tenured professor in UMass Boston’s College of Management and has taught the Leadership Capstone for doctoral students for twelve years. Previous to his appointment as Chancellor, Motley served as Vice President for Business, Marketing, and Public Affairs. Prior to joining the President’s Office, he was the Interim Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he previously had served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, following more than 30 years in higher education administration that included 10 years as Dean of Student Services at Northeastern University. 

As Chancellor, Motley oversaw a strategic planning initiative to enhance the university’s academic offerings and research enterprise, grew enrollment to meet the increasing demand for a well-educated workforce, and built the university as a resource of knowledge and public service. As the first African American chancellor of UMass Boston, which is considered the most diverse public university in New England, Motley highlighted academic excellence, access, and inclusion among its key missions. Motley also oversaw UMass Boston’s 25-year master plan to enhance the campus and improve its layout on Columbia Point.
Motley also serves on numerous boards of organizations with local, regional, and national reach. For the past five years Motley has been named to the Boston Business Journal’s “Power 50” list of Boston-area influencers. In 2016, he was named to the “Get Konnected! 100” list of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color.

A product of the Pittsburgh public schools, he is also a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Upward Bound Program. Motley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University and a doctor of philosophy from Boston College. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees awarded by Northeastern University, Stonehill College, and Robert Morris University and the President’s Award for Distinguished Civic Leadership from Emerson College. He is married to Angela Motley and is the proud father of Keith Allyn, Kayla Iman, and Jordan Kiara.

Callie Crossley

On Tuesday, February 28th, Pine Manor College hosted Callie Crossley, Broadcast Journalist and Host of “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” as February’s Inspire Program guest speaker.

Ms. Crossley spoke of her educational journey, which started at Memphis High School as one of only 19 black students. Recalling personal encounters of racial discrimination and bulling, Crossley expressed her determination to pursue a meaningful career. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1973, Ms. Crossley began her career as a Broadcast Journalist finding her way and her voice in a difficult and unforgiving industry. She attributed much of her success to finding people in the industry who were willing to help her succeed.

Some of her career advice included identifying what your strengths are as well as being willing to improve. Speaking about the importance of taking career risks, she noted that every job she held led her to her next position, and her next step up.

Melissa James

On Tuesday, January 31st, Pine Manor College hosted a truly inspirational speaker as part of the Pine Manor Inspire Program Speaker Series. Melissa James, Founder, President and CEO of The Tech Connection, effortlessly connected with the many who came to hear her speak. She shared personal anecdotes to convey the various challenges she had to overcome to get where she is today. Thank you, Melissa, for being a wonderful role model for our students and all of us.


Inspire Program - Inaugural Speaker Governor Deval Patrick

On Monday, November 28th, 2016, Pine Manor College hosted the inaugural speaker of the Inspire Program, Governor Deval Patrick.

President O'Reilly opened the event and introduced the honorable speaker: "Tonight's speaker hails from the hardscrabble of South Chicago and the hallowed halls of Beacon Hill. He is the first person of color to have become a Governor of Massachusetts, one of the most influential states in the union. Raised by a single mother in a family of limited resources, and confronted by the realities of racism, he set about life with a vision that he would not be held back."  

The College's historic Founders' Room was overflowing, as Gov. Patrick shared his personal story, anecdotes, and wisdom from his remarkable life experiences. In particular, he was kind to offer the students three core ideas: the first is personal integrity which centers around the importance of being true to yourself, discovering who you are, and always remaining authentic in your voice and your values.  

In the second idea - taking calculated risks - Governor Patrick described how a journey to Darfur as a Rockefeller Scholar straight out of college, led him to places and situations beyond his comfort zone, without language skills or much support. The opportunity thus allowed him to develop resilience and endurance that he relies on to this day. He affirmed that students, much like himself, can "figure things out" and succeed, sometimes just by "putting one foot in front of the other."  

The third idea is the value of kindness. The Governor recalled an example from his youth of an unexpected support from a stranger that was so meaningful to him. Gov. Patrick encouraged students to act with kindness in building their relationships both near and far and attested to the power of kindness in creating alliances and good will in unexpected places.  

Our entire community is grateful to Governor Patrick for spending an evening of inspiration with Pine Manor's students.