Rundown of commencements at Mass. universities

05/30/2014 BOSTON, MA Students stood up and cheered when asked who were the first of their families to go to college during the 2014 UMass Boston Commencement. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Aram Boghosian/For The Boston Globe
Students celebrate at last year’s UMass Boston commencement.

The whiff of spring is in the air, so cue up “Pomp and Circumstance.” It’s college commencement season once again in the region, a festive six-week celebration as freshly minted graduates head off into the world. Here is a rundown of the undergraduate ceremonies. Get the hankies ready.

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Saturday, 10 a.m., Tansey Gymnasium, on the campus

Speaker: Anil D. Jha, founder and chief executive officer of HydroNovation Inc.


Graduates: 221

UMass Amherst

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May 8, 4:30 p.m., McGuirk Alumni Stadium

Speaker: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

Number of graduates: 5,500

Northeastern University


May 8, 10:30 a.m., TD Garden

Speaker: David Muir, ABC news anchor

Honorary degrees: Muir; Lawrence S. Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts University; Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health; and Gabriel Jaramillo, former chairman, president, and CEO at Santander Holdings USA.

Becker College

May 9, 11 a.m., DCU Center in Worcester

Speaker: Karen S. Rohan, president of Aetna, Inc.


Number of grads: 429

Honorary Degree: Rohan; Martha P. Grace, former Chief Justice of Mass Juvenile Court

Bay Path University

May 9, 3:00 p.m., MassMutual Center, Springfield

Speaker: Jennifer Lesser Henley, Director of Security Operations at Facebook

Number of graduates: 800

Honorary degree recipients: Henley; York Mayo, community activist and retired executive at American Saw & Manufacturing Company

Emmanuel College

May 9, on campus

Speaker: Boston Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley

Number of graduates: 600

Honorary degrees: O’Malley and James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council

Dean College

May 9, at 11 a.m. , on campus: 99 Main St., Franklin, outside of Dean Hall

Speaker: N/A

Graduates: 290

Honorary degrees: N/A

Regis College

May 9, 10 a.m., Great Lawn, Regis campus, Weston

Speaker: Sandra Fenwick, president and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital

Graduates: 675

Honorary degrees: Fenwick; Marjorie Arons Barron, president of Barron Associates Worldwide; Karen Lafrazia, executive director of St. Francis House

Newbury College

May 10, 11 a.m., Brookline campus

Speaker: Former US Senator William “Mo” Cowan

Graduates: 180

Honorary degrees: Richard Moreau, executive vice president, chief operating officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts; and Toni Elka, Executive director and founder of Future Chefs

Mount Ida

May 11 at 11 a.m., Newton campus

Speaker: Brian McGrory, editor in chief, The Boston Globe

Graduates: 200

Honorary degrees: Stephen Boswell, CEO and president of Fenway Health; Carolyn Rafaelian, CEO of Alex and Ani

MGH Institute of Health Professions

May 11, 2 p.m., Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center

Speaker: Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host

Graduates: 550

Honorary degrees: None

Simmons College

May 15, 9:30 a.m., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Speaker: Abigail Disney, filmmaker, philanthripost, and activist

Honorary degree: Laurence Prusak ,ifounded and directed the Center for Business Innovation at Ernst and Young, and the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management; currently senior adviser on knowledge for NASA.

Wheelock College

May 15, 10 a.m., Temple Israel, 477 Longwood Ave., Boston

Speaker: Dr. Joyce Banda, former president, Republic of Malawi

Honorary degrees: Dr. Joyce Banda; Lawrence O’Donnell; Dr. Tiziana Filippini.

Lesley University

May 16, 2 p.m., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Speakers: Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools; and Chris Van Allsburg, children’s author known for “Polar Express” and other works.

UMass Lowell

May 16, 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Tsongas Center

Speaker: LeVar Burton, actor and education advocate

Graduates: 2,700

Honorary degrees: Carole Cowan, former president of Middlesex Community College; John Sampas, literary executor of beat generation icon Jack Kerouac’s estate; (Second ceremony:) Barry Perry, former chairman and CEO, Engelhard Inc.

Hampshire College

May 16, 11 a.m., Harold F. Johnson Library Lawn

Speaker: Sonya Renee Taylor, poet, activist, and founder of The Body is Not an Apology movement.

Graduates: 300

Honorary degrees: None.

Fisher College

May 16, 11 a.m., Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St.

Speaker: Matthew Slater, New England Patriots

Graduates: 248

Honorary degrees: Slater

College of Our Lady of the Elms

May 16, MassMutual Center, Springfield

Speaker: US Representative. John Lewis, D-Ga.

Graduates: 508

Honorary degrees: None.

Assumption College

May 16, 10 a.m., Assumption’s H.L. Rocheleau Field

Speaker: Major General Robert Catalanotti (Ret.), an Iraq War commander

Graduates: 447

Honorary degrees: Terrence W Macy, PhD, former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services; Catalanotti.

Babson College

May 16, 10 a.m.

Speakers: Kevin Colleran, early executive at Facebook and current managing partner at Slow Ventures; Richard Saul Wurman, renowned American architect and author.

Graduates: 470

Honorary degrees: Colleran and Wurman.

Bentley University

May 16, 10 a.m., South Campus

Speaker: Scott A. Blackmun, chief executive officer of the US Olympic Committee

Graduates: 1,000

Honorary degrees: Blackmun and Laura Sen, president and chief executive officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc.

Endicott College

May 16, 10:30 a.m., Endicott Stadium, Beverly

Speaker: Raymond J. Bourque, Boston Bruins great

Graduates: 510

Honorary degrees: Bourque and Nancy E Frates, mother of Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball captain who has raised attention about ALS.

Wheaton College

May 16, 10 a.m., the Dimple (central quadrangle), Norton

Speaker: Lisa Szarkowski , vice president of humanitarian emergencies and executive communication for the US Fund for UNICEF.

Graduates: 371

Honorary degrees: Szarkowski; Steven Hawley, former astronaut and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas; David Wagner, founder and CEO of Evanston Capital Management and a member of the Wheaton Board of Trustees; Virginia Weil, retired senior managing director of the Business Council for International Understanding in Washington, D.C., and a former member of the Wheaton board.

Stonehill College

May 17 at 10 a.m., at college on quadrangle lawn (Easton)

Speaker: Kenneth Feinberg, guided the One Fund after the Marathon bombings

Graduates: 500

Honorary Degree: Feinberg; Rev. Elizabeth Walker, journalist and humanitarian; Robert Strecker, Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor; Arlene McNamee, Catholic Social Services executive director.

Brandeis University

May 17, 10:30 a.m., Gosman Sports and Convocation Center

Speaker: US Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Honorary degrees: Pickering; Suzanne Farrell, dancer and founder of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center; Jamaica Kincaid, novelist, essayist and scholar; Yotam Ottolenghi, chef, restaurateur and author; Helen Vendler, poet, literary critic, scholar.

Mount Holyoke College:

May 17, 10:30 a.m., Gettell Amphitheater

Speaker: Carol Geary Schneider, alumna and president of American Association of Colleges and Universities, leading national advocate for undergraduate liberal education

Graduates: 580

Honorary degrees: Schneider; Robert Forrester, president and chief executive officer of Newman’s Own Foundation; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and chief executive office of; Meredith K Monk, internationally acclaimed artist who explores boundaries between music and movement.

Boston University

May 17, 1 p.m., Nickerson Field,

Speaker: Meredith Vieira , Emmy Award-winning journalist and television host

Honorary degrees: Viera; Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP;

BU trustee Allen Questrom; philanthropist Kelli Questrom; Grammy–winning jazz musician and producer George Wein.

Tufts University

May 17, 9 a.m., College Green

Speaker: Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state

Honorary degrees: Suzin Bartley, executive director of Children’s Trust Fund; Joichi “Joi” Ito, activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, director of MIT Media Lab; Joseph Neubauer, business and civic leader; Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, jurist and human rights advocate; Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, dancer, teacher, choreographer.

Suffolk University

May 17, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Speakers: Governor Charlie Baker; Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid executive director; Michael Sheehan, Boston Globe CEO

Graduates: 1,094

Honorary degrees: US Rep. William R Keating; John F Barros, chief of economic development for Boston; Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; Anthony Pangaro, principal of Millennium Partners-Boston; Robert Brustein, director, actor, playwright; Gloria E White-Hammond, physician at the South End Community Center.

Clark University

May 17, Jefferson Academic Center Green

Speaker: Matthew R. Goldman, co-founder Blue Man Group

Graduates: 530

Honorary degrees: Goldman; Mark Bittman,New York Times columnist; Audrey Flack, visual artist; and Dr. Francis Lelo, vice chancellor of Laikapia University in Kenya.

Lasell College

May 17, Taylor Field

Speaker: Judy Smith, crisis management expert, inspiration of television show “Scandal”

Graduates: 284

Honorary degree: Smith

Olin College

May 17, 3 p.m., Great Lawn, Needham

Speaker: David Kelley, founder and chairman of the global design firm IDEO; founder of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design

Graduates: 82

New England College of Optometry

May 17, 10 a.m., John Hancock Hall

Speaker: Jordan Kassalow, founder and co-chairman of VisionSpring

Graduates: 129

Honorary degrees: Kassalow; Irving Bennett, OD; Richard Wallingford, OD.

Emerson College

May 18, 10 a.m., Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Speaker: Robin Roberts, co-anchor ABC’s “Good Morning America”

Graduates: 970

Honorary degrees: Roberts; Paralympic medalist, Marathon winner Cheri Blauwet; former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; and art leader Anne Hawley.

Boston College

May 18, 10 a.m., Alumni Stadium

Speaker: Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich

Graduates: 4,000

Honorary degrees: Sister Marie Chin, mainstay of the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica; Michael Motyl, president of Guadalupe Regional Middle School in Texas; Steve Pemberton, writer and motivational speaker; Lee Woodruff, journalist and author.

Boston Architectural College

May 22, 1 p.m., Old South Church

Speaker: Gianfranco Zaccai, president and chief design officer of Continuum LLC

College of the Holy Cross

May 22, 10:30 a.m., Fitton Field

Speaker: Bryan A Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala.

Graduates: 720

Honorary degrees: Ella Baff, longtime director of Jacob’s Pillow international dance festival; Kevin Condron ’67, former Holy Cross board chair and community leader; and Worcester physician Richard Sacra, who contracted Ebola while caring for those stricken in Liberia.

Harvard University

May 28, Tercentenary Theatre

Speaker: Former Governor Deval Patrick

Graduates: 7,300

Honorary degrees: To be announced on Commencement Day.

UMass Boston

May 29, TD Garden

Speaker: Regina “Gina” McCarthy ‘76, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency

Graduates: 4,000

Honorary degrees: McCarthy; Jack M Connors Jr, chairman and founding partner of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc.; Hubie Jones, social justice advocate; Bernard Osher, started Bernard Osher Foundation to improve life through education and arts; Deval L Patrick; Zhang Haidi, chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation and president of Rehabilitation International.

Wellesley College

May 29, 10:30 a.m., Wellesley Campus

Speaker: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of “Americanah” and featured in Beyonce’s song “Flawless”

Graduates: 600


June 5, Killian Court

Speaker: Megan Smith, chief technology officer of the US and assistant to Obama

Williams College

June 7, West College Lawn

Speaker: Ursula M Burns, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer

Graduates: 500

Honorary degrees: Deval Patrick; Frank Deford, weekly commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, senior correspondent on the HBO show “RealSports”; Gish Jen, author of four novels; Mario J Molina, developed the CFC-ozone depletion theory.

Cambridge College

June 7, Blue Hills Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston

Speaker: Andrea Jung, president and ceo of Grameen America, and former ceo of Avon

Graduates: 5,000

Honorary degrees: Jung

For updates, contact Rebecca Fiore at