UMass Boston to Celebrate 44th Commencement on June 1

Crystal Bozek | May 17, 2012
UMass Boston to Celebrate 44th Commencement on June 1

In just two weeks, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Campus Center lawn will be transformed into a stage for the university’s largest event of the year, as more than 3,800 students receive their degrees.

UMass Boston will celebrate its 44th commencement on Friday, June 1 at 9:30 a.m.

“This is always a special moment at UMass Boston,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley said. “It’s a time when our students, as well as our faculty and staff, can come together and reflect on all the hard work they have accomplished and look to a bright future.”

This year Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, a former president of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, will deliver the principal address. Ambassador Chowdhury will receive a Chancellor’s Medal for Global Leadership for Peace for his service to the world through the UN and his work on development in the poorest nations, global peace, and championing the rights of women and children.

He will be joined by honorary degree recipients Jackie Jenkins-Scott, president of Wheelock College; Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa, co-founders of the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Nigeria; and philanthropist and advocate for the blind Carla Lynton, who will also accept a degree on behalf of her husband Ernest Lynton, who is being honored posthumously for his service to higher education in Massachusetts. Find our more about each medal and degree recipient on the honorees’ website.

“Ambassador Chowdhury has promoted a worldwide message of peace and tolerance through education, and has been an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable populations through his work in the UN,” said Chancellor Motley. “We will be honored by his presence.”

Chancellor Motley will award the 2012 John F. Kennedy Award to Albert Chen, a social psychology major in the College of Liberal Arts. The JFK Award is the university's highest honor for an undergraduate student.

Chen, a former student government vice president and founder of UMass Boston’s chapter of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, has made it his mission to engage and serve the university community, the city, and the world.

Four UMass Boston professors will also be honored at the ceremony. Department Chairman of American Studies Rachel Rubin and Professor of English John Tobin will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship. Graduate Program Director and Professor of Sociology Stephanie Hartwell will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, and Professor of Psychology Joan Liem 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 44th commencement ceremonies, visit

Tags: ambassador anwarul karim chowdhury , chancellor , chancellor's award , commencement , honorary degree , jfk award , peace , united nations

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