Distinguished Alumni of Lowell High 2018

Emily Rios, Associate Editor

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On Thursday, October 25, Lowell High held a ceremony commemorating this year’s distinguished alumni. This year’s members are Helen Mangan Brooks, Donald Dowd, Peter S. Stamas, Brendan V. McAdams, and James Jay Campbell. The graduating classes ranged from 1937 to 1962, honoring the various successes of these alum before the next generation.


Lowell high school became the home of many firsts. It opened its doors 187 years ago as the first coed and racially integrated high school in America, setting the standard for excellence since 1831. And this school has been home to many acclaimed people, from writers to surgeons, our alumni are the definition of determination and perseverance.


Helen Mangan Brooks, class of 1937, was most notably defined as having a colorful personality. Coming from humble beginnings, Brooks worked hard throughout her life to become a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps in World War Ⅱ.


Brooks challenged herself in her career while also challenging others. She advocated for women’s rights as well as better treatment of minorities in the army. Her lively character along with her headstrong nature enabled her not only to serve her country but also the people around her.


Donald Dowd, class of 1947, started his career out of high school as a Carney medal scholar. He became a lawyer and later on a teacher in New York. He involved himself more and more within his community, and after retirement went on to help out even more. Dowd was described as always wanting to do more, no matter what.


Peter S. Stamas, class of 1947, was the founding father of education in Lowell high school. He worked towards the betterment of education here; he oversaw the construction of the 1980 building, helped establish scholarships funds with Friends of Lowell, and so much more.


Despite his accolades, he was very humble. An important note that the guest speaker mentioned was that Stamas gave back to the community that raised him. This is a key in the definition of charity and commitment.


Brendan V. McAdams Jr, class of 1954, left Lowell High and pursued the rough road to medical school. In college, he was discouraged by peers to go into the complex field, but his determination proved otherwise. He grew to be a surgeon and donor, providing free medical care and attention to ill patients around the world.


McAdams addressed the students in the audience, stating to “Aim high, don’t quit, and payback.” His goal is to make a difference for the younger generation, and he passed down that message to the future graduates. Three words that he stressed were aspiration, advantageousness, and perseverance.

And lastly, James Jay Campbell, class of 1962, he became an advocate for the Lowell community and aimed to better our society. He served in multiple positions, from Lowell city manager to CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Currently, he serves in a law firm and handles insurance and employment-related matters.


In high school, Campbell was inspired by coaches, mentors, and teachers, teaching him that there is “no substitute for hard work.”


The event rounded off with questions towards the alumni. This experience was a spark in encouraging future graduates to keep moving forward. As college applications and future plans take root, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as the next generation to step up. However, a common link between all of these distinguished alumni was their beliefs in hard work and determination.