Date: May 16, 2014
Department: News & Public Information
"We are all blessed by having the chance to learn from each other. We, the administration and faculty of the University -- have learned from the Class of 2014," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman in her address to the graduating class. "This is our time as a University community to remember how fortunate we are to be here, in a place and among people devoted to learning... devoted to discovery...devoted to service...devoted to getting the most out of our human potential."
Revered Liz Walker was the main speaker and received an honorary degree at the ceremony. For more than 20 years, Liz Walker was an award-winning television journalist in Boston. At the height of her career, she embarked on a new path and was recently installed as Pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church.
"I know you have passion. I can sense the energy in this space," said Rev. Walker, who advocated for the power of grace. "Leave this place knowing that it matters how we treat each other. Ultimately practicing grace is a very intimate effort. We have to learn how to forgive and let go. We have to treat each other with dignity. We have to look in each other's eyes."
Massachusetts State Senate President Therese Murray received the Chancellor's Medal during the College of Arts & Sciences ceremony. Therese Murray was elected Senator for the Plymouth and Barnstable District in 1992 and became the first woman President of the Massachusetts Senate in March 2007. Throughout her career, Senator Murray has been a driving force on children's issues and health care reform efforts, and helped pass landmark legislation including the Children's Mental Health and the Health Care Reform Act of 2006.
Tricia Breton '14 of the College of Arts & Sciences was chosen to address her fellow graduates as the 2014 Student Commencement Speaker. After a 15-year hiatus from pursuing a college degree, Tricia Breton returned to UMass Dartmouth. Over the last four years, her life experiences and double major in English and Women and Gender Studies have ignited a passion that has set her on a new course. Ms. Breton is driven by the belief that everyone deserves a second chance.
"Not only did we work hard to meet deadlines and pass exams but we worked really hard to prove to ourselves and everyone else what we are made of -- we do not quit," said Ms. Breton. "Defeat is opportunity and education is transformation."
Earlier today UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business celebrated its Commencement. Business leader Robert F. Leduc '78 was the main speaker and received an honorary degree at the ceremony. Chief Administrative Officer of Babson College and former UMass Building Authority Executive Director Katherine Craven received the Chancellor's Medal. Nikita Rao, MBA '14 was chosen to address her fellow graduates as the Student Commencement Speaker.
UMass Dartmouth's 2014 Commencement is over three days with four ceremonies. This year's undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will take place May 16-19, 2014. All of the ceremonies, except for the UMass School of Law, will be held in the University's Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. In the event of rain, these ceremonies will be moved to the Tripp Athletic Center. The Law School ceremony will be held in the Main Auditorium on the main campus, rain or shine.