UMass Boston to Celebrate 43rd Commencement on June 3

Crystal Bozek | May 26, 2011
UMass Boston to Celebrate 43rd Commencement on June 3

Tents are being raised, stacks of chairs fill the Campus Center lawn, and caps and gowns are disappearing from the book store.

In just a few short days, on June 3, UMass Boston will celebrate its 43rd Commencement, graduating a record-breaking 3,637 students.

"This is the most exciting time of the year at the University of Massachusetts Boston," said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. "Our students, as well as our faculty and staff, work hard all year for this moment. More than half of our students are the first in their families to graduate, which makes this all the more important."

This year Dr. Muriel Howard, the first African American and female president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), will deliver the principal address. Dr. Muriel Howard will receive a Chancellor's Medal for her outstanding contributions and commitment to public higher education, educational leadership, community, and diversity. She was named president of the AASCU in April 2009.

She will be joined by James A. Calhoun, head coach of the University of Connecticut’s NCAA Championship winning basketball team, who will receive a Chancellor’s Medal, and honorary degree recipients Larry Lucchino, president and CEO of the Red Sox; Charles Rose, senior vice president and dean of City Year; and Frances West, director of the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center. Find out more about each medal and degree recipient at the honorees' website.

“Dr. Muriel Howard has a deep understanding of the value of public higher education and has been an important advocate for state colleges and universities at the national level,” Chancellor Motley said. “We will be honored by her presence.”

The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m.

Chancellor Motley will award the 2011 John F. Kennedy Award to Alia MacPherson, 30, a student in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

MacPherson, a Dean's List student and class president, has faced an uphill struggle for her education after having to postpone college for years because of a family hardship; but she never gave up. Read more about MacPherson's story in UMass Boston News.

Three UMass Boston professors will also be honored at the ceremony. Professor of Psychology Alice Carter will receive the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Scholarship, Professor of English Vivian Zamel will receive the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and Professor of Biology Manickam Sugumaran will receive the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service. To find out more about the professors' work, visit the Distinguished Service, Teaching and Scholarship Award page.

For more information about UMass Boston's 43rd commencement ceremonies, visit

Tags: chancellor's medal , commencement , honorary degree , jfk award , the point

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