UMass Boston

Speakers, Honorary Degrees, and Faculty & Student Awards

Candidates for honorary degrees shall be persons of great accomplishment and high ethical standards who exemplify the ideals of the University of Massachusetts Boston. UMass Boston is fortunate to have such an impressive list of recipients which include government officials, journalists, authors, artists, and athletes.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is rightly recognized for the excellence of its faculty. Each year at commencement, we celebrate the accomplishments of faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional contributions in one of the three primary areas of faculty responsibility by presenting them with the Chancellor’s Awards for Distinguished Scholarship, Teaching, and Service.

The JFK Award was designed to be the highest commencement award that an undergraduate could receive. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their academic record, their service contributions, and their overall contributions as a "citizen" of the University and of the world.

2024 Honorees

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll
Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service

Judge Roberto Andrés Gallardo
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters


About the Honorees

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll - Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service

Headshot of Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, Kim Driscoll


Kim Driscoll is the 73rd lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Sworn in on January 5, 2023, she is part of the first all-women executive team ever to lead Massachusetts, alongside Governor Maura Healey. Prior to her role as lieutenant governor, Driscoll served as the first woman mayor of Salem, Massachusetts. As mayor, she secured public and private investments for a new MBTA station, a state courts complex, senior center, and waterfront port, among other improvements. Driscoll holds a BA from Salem State University and a JD from the Massachusetts School of Law. UMass Boston is proud to present Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll with the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service.



Judge Roberto Andrés Gallardo - Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

Headshot of Judge Roberto Andres Gallardo


Judge Roberto Andrés Gallardo, an Argentinian judge and champion for social justice, has long been an advocate for those less fortunate. Judge Gallardo is president of the Pan-American Committee of Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, an international public association whose global mission is to educate and advocate for respect for human rights—especially of Indigenous and poor people—in courts throughout the Americas. Judge Gallardo holds a master’s degree in state law from the Office of the Attorney General of the National Treasury (Ministry of Justice) and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. UMass Boston is pleased to present Judge Roberto Andrés Gallardo with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

See Also
Previous Speakers & Honorary Degree Recipients

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