Ron Guillmette – Alumni Success
Ron Guillmette began his college education at NECC in 1972 to pursue an associate degree in criminal justice. Graduating in 1974 with high honors, Ron was the first college graduate in his family. For him, NECC was the solid foundation he needed to move forward in his career. After graduating, Ron attended UMASS Boston and received his bachelor’s in criminal justice.
Ron’s 32-year career with the Massachusetts State Police began when he passed the state police entrance exam in 1967 and graduated from the State Police Academy in 1968. He began his career as a trooper assigned to patrol duties in central Massachusetts. It was because of his education, hard work, and determination, that Ron was promoted seven times during his career, moving from trooper all the way to Lieutenant Colonel, the position he held when he retired. Most of his promotions were achieved through a highly competitive exam-driven process, while his final two promotions to Major and Lieutenant Colonel were well-deserved appointments by the superintendent of the State Police. Ron remained committed to his education as he moved up the ranks. He attended Anna Maria College at night and graduated with a masters in criminal justice in 1991. Education and degrees are highly valued in the State Police; therefore, if not for his start at NECC, Ron would have never gone as far in his chosen career path.
Before retiring from the State Police in 1999, Ron served as the interim Chief of Police in Lawrence for one year. While there, he also worked on an advisory board to help establish the Massachusetts Police Leadership Institute in partnership with UMASS Lowell and then Superintendent Ed Davis of the Lowell Police Department. Upon retirement, Ron was appointed Director of the Leadership Institute. In this position, he reconnected with a former NECC professor, Eve Buzawa, who is now the Chair of Criminal Justice Program at UMASS Lowell. She had always told Ron that he was one of her best students and she invited him to come teach at UMASS Lowell, an opportunity he gladly accepted.
In 2006, Ron was hired at Merrimack College as their Chief of Police. During his six years of leadership at Merrimack, Ron oversaw the arming of the department and led the department to accreditation by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, making Merrimack one of only five colleges in Massachusetts with an accredited police department. He retired in 2012, but still teaches in the criminology department at the college.
Ron recognizes the many doors of opportunity that were opened because of his start at NECC. He now works very hard to give back to both the college and the community. Ron was named Outstanding NECC Alumni in 2001. He served as President and later as Secretary of the NECC Alumni Board, and was also appointed to a five-year term as a member of NECC’s Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Town of Salisbury’s Warrant Advisory Committee, and is the past President of the Salisbury Beach Betterment Association.
In his spare time, Ron enjoys being on Salisbury Beach with his wife, children, and four grandchildren. He is also an avid kayaker and most recently self-published a book on his eight-trip paddling adventure where he kayaked to all 253 islands on Lake Winnipesauke.
Ron’s advice to NECC students is simple, yet profound. He said, “Life is what you make of it!” “If you want to excel and rise to the top of your chosen field, then you must persevere through all of life’s challenges and continue your education.” In short, set goals and go out and make them happen. Ron lives by the philosophy that there’s nothing he can’t do, and he encourages NECC graduates to strive for greatness.