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Rundown of commencements at Mass. universities

Students celebrate at last year’s UMass Boston commencement.
Students celebrate at last year’s UMass Boston commencement. Aram Boghosian/For The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

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

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 Care.com; 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 rebecca.fiore@globe.com