On Saturday, August 13, the renaming of New Bedford's Sea Lab Marine Science Education Center to the Dr. Frederick M. Kalisz Jr. Sea Lab Marine Science Education Center took place, with hundreds in attendance.

The day before was graduation day for the students who spent part of their summer vacation, from third grade to ninth grade, getting involved hands-on and fostering a desire to learn more about understanding and developing stewardship of our coasts and oceans, while providing team-based learning and scientific exploration.

For 50 years, co-creator and facilitator Simone P. Bourgeois has administered along with a top-notch staff to shape public school students into becoming curious about oceanography, marine and aquatic environments, meteorology, physics, chemistry, biology, geology and practical outdoor skills like swimming and snorkeling – all integral parts of the Sea Lab experience.

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Its growth from humble beginnings in 1968 – when Sea Lab grew from an enrollment of some fifth grade boys and one instructor to 280 students, 51 staff members and 20 interns, who've graduated and have returned to assist the teaching and office staff – is testimony to the excellence of this program.

The 54th annual commencement and open house program welcomed keynote speaker Dr. Ann H. Partridge MD, MPH at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who has led breast cancer clinical trials and innovative research with the objective of reducing cancer, especially among young women. Her oration embraced the importance of changing the future for the better, making our community one of higher quality.

Former Mayor Fred Kalisz
Courtesy New Bedford Public Schools

The late Mayor Fred Kalisz, as a servant of his community, envisioned the same enlightenment as Dr. Partridge. He had the vision that through Sea Lab, our kids would receive the stimulus needed to deepen our collective knowledge, that is the only fuel that propels progress.

There's another important takeaway from the dedication ceremony, and this one is about you.

Kalisz knew that strong communities have a significant sense of purpose. He knew, as good parents, you have a meaningful impact on your child's learning.

As a leader, Kalisz provided our community with a clear vision about the broader purpose of Sea Lab. Fulfilling that purpose is squarely up to us.

New Bedford's Sea Lab Renamed for the Late Mayor Fred Kalisz

New Bedford's Sea Lab saw its 54th graduating class while also being renamed for the late Mayor Fred Kalisz.

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