UMass Boston Athletics became a reality at the varsity level against NCAA competition in 1980-81 and Robert A. Corrigan was a driving force behind the dream of so many at the Harbor Campus to sponsor athletics at UMB. Dr. Corrigan served as UMass Boston's Chancellor and Professor of English from 1979 to 1988, before becoming the 12th President of San Francisco State University in September of 1988. He has been a champion of community service and civic engagement throughout his career, having established university-community partnerships at both UMass Boston and SFSU. In 1996, Dr. Corrigan was tapped by former President Bill Clinton to chair both the Steering Committee of college and university presidents for the "America Reads Challenge" and the National Steering Committee for the "America Counts" initiative. Dr. Corrigan also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and has sat on various Mayor's Councils for the city of San Francisco. He is a member of the National Cancer Institute's Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch Task Force and the National Advisory Council for Campus Contact. Dr. Corrigan formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Jump Start program and is a founding member, past Chairman of the Board and Distinguished Fellow of the Association of Urban Universities. A biographer of poet Ezra Pound, he was also involved in the emergence of Ethnic Studies in the late 1960s. Dr. Corrigan has served as a provost at the University of Maryland, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri and faculty member Bryan Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Iowa and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He received his A.B. from Brown University and both his master's and doctoral degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.