Marjorie Goudreault was a popular city councilor, usually among the top vote-getters.
She was also a passionate advocate of health care and education.
A leader at Northern Essex Community College for more than 30 years, Goudreault helped shape the direction of the college and was instrumental in bringing a campus to Lawrence and launching a licensed practical nursing program. She also headed the committee that hired former long-time NECC President David Hartleb.
The college has recognized her contributions by dedicating a new walkway and parking area in Lawrence to her memory.
Goudreault, the first woman to serve on both the Haverhill City Council and School Committee during her 27-year political career, died unexpectedly in 2005. She was 69.
Located across the street from NECC’s Dr. Ibrahim El-Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center on Common Street, the Marjorie Goudreault walkway and parking area provides 62 parking spaces, a landscaped walkway connecting the El-Hefni Center with the college’s Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center on Amesbury Street, and a small park with benches where students can relax between classes.
“Based on Marjorie’s interest in Lawrence, I think she would be quite pleased to see how the college has grown in the city,” said NECC President Lane Glenn, who talked about how the college has grown to include five locations in Lawrence — iHealth on Franklin St., 420 Common St., and NECC Riverwalk in addition to the El-Hefni Center and the Haffner Fournier Education Center.
Haverhill City Councilor Robert Scatamacchia, who served on the council with Goudreault from 1980 to 1988, said he considered her an excellent councilor and a good friend.
“She was in a difficult position, as at the time her brother, Bill Ryan, was mayor,” Scatamacchia said. “She certainly had different opinions than Bill, and didn’t agree with him on every issue. But if she had something on her mind, she’d say it.”
Scatamacchia said he was happy to learn that Northern Essex named a walkway and parking lot in memory of Goudreault.
“I think something should have been done to honor her and I’m glad NECC recognized her for all she did for the college,” he said.
Goudreault was a member of the college’s Advisory Board from 1969 to 1979, serving three years as chair of the board. She was chair of the Board of Trustees from 1981 until her retirement in 1997.
NECC officials said Goudreault’s passion for and commitment to the college was personal because three of her nine children graduated from Northern Essex.
In 1997, Goudreault was recognized as the most outstanding community college trustee in the country when she was the recipient of the M. Dale Ensign Trustee Award given by the Association of Community College Trustees.
Attorney Carolyn Morton, a close friend of Goudreault who served with her on the NECC Board of Trustees, spoke during a July 23 program which dedicated the walkway in her memory. Morton shared memories of initial meetings in Lawrence, where plans were made for the campus there.
“The college’s first building in Lawrence happened as a result of the leadership of Marjorie and John Dimitry, who was president of the college at the time,” Morton said. “She was very involved with securing a campus in the city and with selecting the programming that would be offered there.”
Morton talked about Goudreault’s vision, energy, honor and leadership, and joked about her quest for the closest and most convenient parking space, no matter how long it took. Morton invited Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, who is currently chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, to the podium, and, with laughter from the audience, which included family, former trustees, and friends, presented him with a hand-printed sign that read “reserved parking chairman of the board of trustees.”
Morton made a significant donation to the college, which covered much of the work that was done to create the Marjorie Goudreault walkway and parking area, college officials said.
The program also included talks by Glenn and William Cox, Haverhill’s city solicitor and a current member of the college’s Board of Trustees who was a close friend of Goudreault.
Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, presented Goudreault’s daughter Julie Reynolds with a proclamation recognizing her mother’s accomplishments and contributions.
Special guests included Goudreault’s other children and former NECC President John Dimitry and his wife, Audrey.
When asked what personal qualities contributed to her mother’s success, Reynolds said Goudreault “was very smart, organized, and compassionate. She was passionate about what she believed in and when you have passion it all works out.”
What it provides:
A landscaped walkway connecting two NECC centers
A park with benches where students can relax between classes
62 parking spaces