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Actress Ann Dowd was honored by her alma mater on Friday, given an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at the College of the Holy Cross’s 170th commencement ceremony at Worcester’s DCU Center. Dowd, a Holyoke native, was a premed student when she attended Holy Cross, but — encouraged by her roommate and teachers in the theater department — went on to pursue acting following her graduation in 1978. Harry K. Thomas Jr., the US ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe and also a 1978 Holy Cross graduate, delivered the college’s commencement address. He and Richard O’Reilly, chair of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s department of pediatrics, also received honorary degrees.


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