This week, students, alumni, faculty, and staff came together to celebrate the Suffolk Master of Public Administration Program’s 40th anniversary. Nearly 200 people attended, including Richard McDowell, MPA program founder and former dean of the School.

The event, which took place in Suffolk’s newly renovated graduate program space in Sargent Hall, was a chance for students and public service leaders to network, reconnect, and share their experiences with the program.

“It is wonderful to see alumni here from each decade, who have such rich experiences and stories to share. We have over 2,200 alumni who are working in all levels of government, in small and large nonprofits, and in public service fields, such as healthcare, community and public health, and beyond. They are working with policymakers, leaders, and the larger community to develop practical solutions that improve life locally, regionally, and nationally,” said Professor Brenda Bond, who is the director and department chair of the program.

For students and soon-to-be graduates, the event offered a glimpse into Suffolk’s expansive MPA network. 

“I enjoyed seeing the span of alumni across the decades and meeting new people who are making a difference in public service,” said Jenny Joseph-Hayle, MPA '13, who is a fiscal analyst at MassHealth.

Suffolk’s MPA alumni make up a diverse, tight-knit community of public service leaders. And their connection to Suffolk doesn’t end after graduation—it’s lifelong. “We know that the MPA program changed your lives, and we want you to know that our time with you has also changed us. We are better at what we do because of our experiences with you, and we need that to continue,” said Professor Bond.

Tom Tinlin, MPA ’12, chief of operations and maintenance for the MassDOT Highway Division, is just one example of the many alumni who have remained actively engaged with the MPA program after graduation. He is a member of the MPA Advisory Board and serves as a career mentor for current students.

"The MPA program has given me more than I can ever repay. I give back to help those who came after me. I know what it's like to balance a busy life with class work and research. Helping both students and Suffolk is the least I can do," said Timlin.

The Suffolk MPA is more than a graduate degree. It’s an experience. It’s about making connections in the public service community, developing as a professional with the guidance of alumni mentors, and networking with classmates who may become your future colleagues.