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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Richard Lapidus

Photo | WBJ File Richard Lapidus, president of Fitchburg State University
Richard Lapidus Title President Organization Fitchburg State University  Residence Fitchburg Colleges Indiana University; California State University, Long Beach; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Harvard Graduate School of Education Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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Perhaps more than any other college president in Central Massachusetts, Richard Lapidus has demonstrated the transformative effect a higher education institution can have on its hometown.

Over his seven years as president, Lapidus has leveraged FSU’s power as a community partner to profoundly impact downtown Fitchburg. Lapidus has spearheaded ReImagine North of Main, a partnership among Fitchburg organizations to rebuild the city’s downtown into a thriving hub for work, housing, and entertainment. Lapidus emerged as a leader in Fitchburg’s redevelopment plans with an ambitious plan to revitalize a long-vacant theater on Main Street.

The fourth largest university in Central Massachusetts with 3,350 full-time students and a $23-million endowment, FSU bought the dilapidated theater, sparking a $2-million first phase of development activating storefronts and renovating vacant space in what’s now known as the Theater Block. The work has evolved into a partnership with nonprofits, museums, and financial institutions, and FSU faculty and staff played a critical role in developing Abolitionist Park.

In the last 12 months, Fitchburg State has received more than $1 million in state grants for its efforts to redevelop the downtown.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? The spirit of collaboration and partnership between the region’s public and private entities is remarkable. We work together with the big picture in mind. I know that has been noticed at the state and federal level, and it will continue to pay dividends.

Grillmaster: I enjoy cooking and particularly like to be at the grill, especially with hardwood.

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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