More Than 2,530 to Receive Degrees
By Christine Gillette
For the fourth year in a row, a record number of students will receive degrees at UMass Lowell’s Commencement.
More than 2,530 graduates will receive bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the ceremony on Saturday, May 28 at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The event begins at 9 a.m.
“This continued growth in the number of students graduating, which has increased by more than 500 since 2007, shows that the university’s efforts to increase student success are working,” says UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan.
UMass Lowell leads New England public research institutions in increasing the six-year graduation rate, according to a December 2010 ranking by the Chronicle of Higher Education. UMass Lowell’s growth ranked No. 24 in the nation among more than 150 colleges and universities.
The positive growth is the result of strategies including maintaining small class sizes (more than half of classes have 20 or fewer students and only 4.8 percent have more than 50 students) and a 14-to-1 student-teacher ratio; equipping 100 percent of classrooms with state-of-the-art technology to enhance learning; and increasing university housing by more than 800 beds. National studies have found students who live on campus achieve higher levels of academic success than those who do not.
Among the highlights of this year’s Commencement ceremony will be the presentation of a Chancellor’s Medal to Andre Dubus III, best-selling author and UMass Lowell professor of English. Dubus – the author of books including “House of Sand and Fog,” which was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, and “Townie,” a New York Times best-seller – will also speak to graduates during the ceremony.
Honorary degrees will also be presented to:
- MFS Investment Chairman and CEO Robert Manning ’84, former chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, and his wife, Donna Manning, a UMass Lowell Nursing Department alumna who spent more than 25 years as an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center, where she won awards for excellence;
Mico Kaufman, a Romanian refugee who came to the United States and became a renowned sculptor and medalist who has been commissioned for works including four presidential commemorative medals;
Stuart Mandell, former UMass Lowell professor who was instrumental in the founding of the university’s College of Management and served as its first dean.
Barbara Hogan, renowned South African anti-apartheid activist, former government official and one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009. Hogan received an honorary degree from UMass Lowell at a special ceremony last month during the International Women Leaders’ Summit on Security through Economic and Social Development.
The 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award will go to John Kennedy ’70, former top executive with RSA Security Inc. and Nova Ventures Corp., and currently a director of Harvard Bioscience and Datacom Systems Inc.
All of the honorees, as well as top student award winners, will be feted at the annual Commencement Eve Gala to benefit student scholarships on Friday, May 27 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell. The event is open to the public. Admission is $125 per person, which includes the gala, entertainment and dinner. To purchase tickets or for more information, check out www.uml.edu/commencement/dinner
or call 978-934-3236.