Anticipation builds for 38th Commencement exercises

Former secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala to deliver keynote address

By Jim Fessenden

UMass Medical School Communications

May 31, 2011
 Commencement Preview

   Chancellor Michael F. Collins presides over the 2010
   Commencement exercises.

For the 192 students graduating from UMass Worcester, Sunday, June 5, marks the culmination of years of countless hours spent in the library, classroom, lab and clinic. Graduates of the three schools that make up UMass Worcester—the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate School of Nursing—will formally receive their graduate, doctoral and medical degrees at the 38th Commencement exercises in front of family and friends under a 3,000-seat tent erected on the campus green. The ceremony caps a weekend of festive events, including a Saturday night celebration and a Sunday morning brunch for faculty, graduates and guests.  
Presiding over the day’s ceremonies will be UMass Worcester Chancellor Michael F. Collins, who will present 80 doctor of medicine degrees; 57 doctor of philosophy degrees; one master of science in clinical investigation; five MD/PhDs; and, in nursing, 38 master of science degrees, five post-masters certificates, three PhDs and three doctor of nursing practice degrees. Presenting degrees will be Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD, RN, dean of the Graduate School of Nursing, Kendall L. Knight, PhD, associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor in Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. 

Donna E. Shalala, former secretary of Health and Human Services, will give the keynote address. Shalala will receive an honorary degree in recognition of her outstanding stewardship of the Health and Human Services secretariat and her steadfast commitment to the health and well-being of this nation’s children. 

Founding UMMS faculty member Arthur Pappas, MD, professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation and pediatrics, and Autism Speaks founders Suzanne and Bob Wright will also receive honorary degrees. UMass Worcester will award an honorary degree to Dr. Pappas in recognition of his unparalleled leadership in the Worcester community and his years of dedication to sports medicine along with the numerous philanthropic contributions to UMass Medical School. Suzanne and Bob Wright are being recognized for their impact on increasing awareness of autism as a major health threat, support for research into this complex neurobiological condition and advocacy on behalf of people affected by autism around the world. 

Leading the processional will be the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service recipient, John L. Sullivan, MD, vice provost for research and professor of pediatrics and molecular medicine. This year’s class speakers are Anthony Burrows, (SOM), Linzy Hendrikson, (GSBS) and Patrick Griswold (GSN). 

Related links: 

Student speakers offer words of wisdom 
Honorary degree recipients share the University’s values 
Commencement information for graduates 
A celebration of student achievement