Forget Oprah, Stephen Colbert, or Bill Clinton: This year, the most sought-after commencement guest seems to be Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, who emerged as a steadfast source of assurance during the chaos following the Marathon bombings.
Since then, Davis has been booked to deliver the commencement address at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and he is slated to receive honorary degrees from Suffolk and Northeastern universities.
“It’s extremely humbling,” Davis said Monday. “I never expected that I’d find myself in this situation.”
This graduation season is the first time Davis will receive an honorary degree or deliver a university commencement speech, though he once delivered graduation remarks at a high school in his native Lowell.
“This is a big jump from that,” Davis said.
Explaining UMass Lowell’s invitation to Davis, chancellor Martin T. Meehan called him “a symbol of strength not just for the city of Boston, but for the entire Commonwealth and the nation.
“He demonstrates how good leaders need not only top-notch skills in their professions, but must also have strong character and the ability to employ both in times of crisis,” he said.
Davis said he views the invitations as gestures of appreciation to law enforcement officers and first responders in the Marathon bombing response. He declined to preview what his speech might say.Martine Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.