Honorary Degree Recipients and Commencement Speakers

  • Ashish Jha, M.D.
    Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

    Ashish K. Jha, M.D. is recognized globally as an expert on pandemic preparedness and response as well as on domestic and global health policy.

  • Sian Proctor, Ph.D.
    Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

    Sian Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist and the first Black female to pilot a spacecraft and the first Black commercial astronaut.

  • Christopher Niezrecki, Ph.D.
    Graduate Commencement Speaker

    Mechanical Engineering Prof. Christopher Niezrecki is co-director of the Structural Dynamics and Acoustic Systems Laboratory on campus, and leads the Center for Renewable Energy at UMass Lowell.

  • Lawrence  Chian-Hsiang Lin ’90
    Honorary Degree Recipient

    Lawrence Lin, president of Grand Dynasty Industrial Co. Ltd., is a strong supporter of the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell, where he established the Dr. Lawrence C.H. Lin Taiwan Students Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2012.

  • Brian  Rist ’77, ’22
    Honorary Degree Recipient

    Brian Rist is chairman of the Rist Family Foundation and this year, he and his wife, Kim, made a $3 million gift to establish UML’s first-ever deanship.

  • Kim Rist
    Honorary Degree Recipient

    UMass Lowell has its first-ever deanship in the Manning School of Business, thanks to a $3 million commitment from Kim Rist and her husband, Brian, through the Rist Family Foundation.

Chancellor's Medal Recipients

  • Andre  Dubus III
    Chancellor's Medal for the Arts

    UML English Prof. Andre Dubus III is the author of “The Cage Keeper and Other Stories,” The New York Times bestsellers, “House of Sand and Fog,” “The Garden of Last Days,” and his memoir, “Townie.”

  • John Chemaly
    Chancellor's Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement

    John and Linda Chemaly are generous supporters of UMass Lowell, and the couple is well-known for their involvement at nonprofits throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley.

  • Linda Chemaly
    Chancellor's Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement

    Linda Chemaly and her husband, John, are generous supporters of UMass Lowell, and the couple is well-known for their involvement at nonprofits throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley.

  • Eileen Donoghue
    Chancellor's Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement

    Eileen Donoghue served as city manager of Lowell from 2018-2022.

  • John O'Connor
    Chancellor's Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement

    John O'Connor and his wife, former Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, are shining examples of the impact a commitment to public service can have on a community.

  • Joanne  Yestramski '76
    Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding University Support

    Joanne Yestramski is interim vice president and chief business officer for the University of Maine and former senior vice chancellor for finance, operations and strategic planning at UMass Lowell.

  • Independent University Alumni Association  at Lowell
    Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding University Support

    The Independent University Alumni Association at Lowell announced the donation of nearly $13 million to UMass Lowell in 2021 to continue the support of student scholarships.

  • Lowell General  Hospital
    Chancellor's Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement

    Lowell General Hospital is this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Public Service and Civic Engagement, sharing a  history with UMass Lowell and its foundations stretching back more than 125 years.

Distinguished Alumni

  • Stephen  Driscoll 66, ’72
    Distinguished Alumni Award

    Steve Driscoll ’66, ’72 earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lowell Technological Institute, and went on to teach plastics engineering at UMass Lowell for more than 50 years.

  • William O’Shea ’69, ’03 (H)
    Distinguished Alumni Award

    William O’Shea served as executive vice president of corporate strategy and marketing for Lucent Technologies and president of Bell Laboratories, before retiring in 2005. For his outstanding achievements, he is being recognized as a James B. Francis Distinguished Engineer at UML this year.