Bill Nye, Howard Koh Announced as Speakers for May 17 Commencement Ceremonies

By Patricia McCafferty

Bill Nye the Science Guy and Howard Koh, assistant secretary of health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will address graduates at UMass Lowell’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17.

Nye – scientist, engineer, author, inventor and comedian – is best known for his Emmy Award-winning TV series, “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” which aired from 1993 to 1998 and is credited with inspiring countless young people to pursue careers in science. Nye, in addition to working on four other TV series, is the executive director of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space-interest group.

Koh, in his role with the federal government, is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems in prevention and care with the goal of seeing all Americans reach their highest attainable standard of health. Called one of the most influential people in the fight against tobacco in the last 25 years by the New England Division of the American Cancer Society, Koh has earned numerous other honors for accomplishments in medicine and public health.

“We are honored to have two individuals who have dedicated their lives to educating the public about science and health speak to UMass Lowell’s Class of 2014,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan, who will preside over the Commencement ceremonies. “Bill Nye and Howard Koh both have tremendous experience and enthusiasm for their work and can offer graduates valuable insight not only into their fields of expertise, but also their unique approaches to teaching.”

To accommodate the increase in the number of graduates, UMass Lowell will continue its new tradition of holding two Commencement ceremonies. For the first time this year, all degree recipients – bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral – from the College of Health Sciences will participate in the afternoon ceremony at 2:30 p.m., which will also include graduates of all of the University’s other schools and colleges who are receiving master’s and doctoral degrees. The morning ceremony, set for 9 a.m., will honor recipients of bachelor’s degrees from the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Sciences; the Francis College of Engineering; and the Manning School of Business. Both ceremonies will be held at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell.

Nye will deliver the Commencement address during the university’s morning ceremony. The address to the afternoon Commencement ceremony will be delivered by Koh.

For more information about Commencement activities, visit