Brown, MacDonald Busy Earning All-American Honors During Graduation
By Chris O'Donnell
Neither Donte Brown of Raynham and Angus MacDonald of Methuen had the slightest regret about missing UMass Lowell’s 2011 Commencement on May 28. They were 3,000 miles away competing at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championship in Turlock, Calif.
Instead, the two seniors, alongside their families, were given their own ceremony with Chancellor Marty Meehan at the University’s Allen House on June 13.
“Today’s ceremony more than made up for missing the big ceremony on May 28th,” said head track coach Gary Gardner. “This is the second year that Chancellor Meehan has arranged for our kids to have their own ceremony, and we are very grateful. It really means a lot to Donte and Angus.”
UMass Lowell’s commencement, traditionally slated for the last weekend in May, coincided with the NCAA Track and Field Championship in Turlock, Calif. (at Cal State Stanislaus) for the second straight year.
As the commencement ceremony wrapped up here, members of UMass Lowell’s track and field teams enjoyed a spectacular showing on the final day of the NCAA Championship, led by Brown and MacDonald.
Brown captured All-American honors in both the 400 meter hurdles, placing third in 52.37 seconds; and in the 4X400 meter relay, which he helped lead to third place in 3:10.98.
“(Chancellor Meehan) gave us some good advice,” Brown said. “He just told us to try to stay in school, that it would help us in the future, especially in an economy like this.”
Was Brown discouraged about missing commencement on May 28?
“Absolutely not, because I ran well,” he said. “I’d have been more upset if I was at graduation and not the nationals.”
Brown is aiming to earn his master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of North Texas. He also hopes to keep competing and has his eyes on qualifying for the U.S. Track & Field Championship either this summer or next.
MacDonald placed eighth in the 5,000 meters in 14:18.81, marking the seventh time in his career he has reached All-American status. MacDonald, who is eligible to compete in one more indoor and outdoor season, will return next winter to finish his master’s degree in education.
“Chancellor Meehan and I talked a lot afterward,” MacDonald said. “I’m in the master's program for education and he has three sisters who also went through the program.”
Like Brown, MacDonald wasn’t the least bit sorry about missing graduation ceremonies. “It was definitely worth the trip, especially being with our teammates and doing as well as we did. It was well worth it.”