“In this month’s edition of French and Electric Blue, Colonel Alben discusses several improvements being made to Department infrastructure, including the Alje M. Savela Range and our communications network. Readers can learn about the storied career of Captain Rick Smith and how the Massachusetts State Police is reaching out to and supporting our returning combat veterans. The Student Trooper program is also highlighted.”
Family of Late MSP Lieutenant Colonel Carries on His Values Through University Scholarship
“If you work hard enough, you can do anything”
–Michael B Shanahan
That was one of Lieutenant Colonel Michael B. Shanahan’s favorite sayings, and one of the many things his family remembers about his work ethic and values. Lieutenant Colonel Shanahan, who died on June 28, 2006 after fighting a heroic battle against cancer, is remembered fondly by many of his old colleagues on the Massachusetts State Police. What’s more, through a scholarship begun by his family, his legacy continues to be one of helping others.
Lieutenant Colonel Shanahan joined the State Police in 1971, a year after his honorable discharge as a sergeant in the Marine Corps (having served two tours in Vietnam). He rose steadily through the ranks of the department, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. Throughout his professional career, he also placed a high value on education, earning honors degrees from Northern Essex Community College, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1994 with a master’s degree in public administration. Following his MSP career, he joined Bank of America as a senior corporate security investigator and manager.
To honor his memory, Lieutenant Colonel Shanahan’s loving wife Diane and two children, Christina and Michael, in 2008 founded the Lt. Colonel Michael B. Shanahan Memorial Scholarship at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell to help students with tuition and other college-related expenses. The scholarship is the first at UMass-Lowell specifically for criminal justice majors. With the support of family, friends, numerous law enforcement agencies, and businesses, the scholarship fund reached the status of endowment in less than a year, placing it in perpetuity and creating a lasting tribute to Lieutenant Colonel Shanahan. This past April, the university dedicated in Lieutenant Colonel Shanahan’s memory a conference room in the school’s new $40 million, 69,000-square-foot Health and Social Sciences building.
“Our mission as a family is to continue to honor and memorialize in a way that will inspire others through the gift of education,” Mrs. Diane Shanahan stated. “The students chosen truly exemplify who Mike was: accomplished, dedicated and hardworking.”
Donations to the scholarship fund may be made to the Lt. Col. Michael B. Shanahan Memorial Scholarship Fund, UMass-Lowell, Office of Advancement, One University Avenue, Southwick 250, Lowell, MA 01854, Attn: Daniel Covert, manager of gift operations.