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Harold Ford Jr. to Speak at UMass Lowell Commencement


Former Congressman Will Address Record Number of Graduates

LOWELL, Mass. ߝ Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. will address a record number of graduates at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s commencement on Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at the Tsongas Arena.

“I had the great pleasure of serving with Harold Ford Jr. in Congress,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan, whose work with Ford included traveling to his home district in Tennessee to advocate for campaign finance reform.

“As the second-youngest person ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Harold is an outstanding example of how young people can make a difference in our nation. With his strong commitment to community service and his dedication to accessible, quality education for all, he is an excellent role model for today’s graduates,” Meehan said.

Ford, who was the keynote speaker at the 2000 Democratic Convention, represented Tennessee in Congress for 10 years.  In 2007, Ford was named chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. He is a news analyst for NBC and MSNBC, a visiting professor of public policy at Vanderbilt University and a member of the Pentagon’s Transformation Advisory Group. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Law School.  

About 2,200 students ߝ the highest number in University history ߝ are expected to receive bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.  Following the ceremony at the Tsongas Arena, individual colleges will host receptions for graduates and their guests.

The University will recognize four honorary degree recipients:

  • Bernard Amadei, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado, directs the new Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities, which aims to educate engineering students and professionals on creating sustainable solutions to the problems faced by communities worldwide. He was recently elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and has co-authored two books and nearly 160 technical papers. Amadei is also the founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-founder of Engineers Without Borders-International.
  • George L. Duncan is the founding chairman of Enterprise Bank, a locally owned institution headquartered in Lowell with branches in 15 towns. Duncan is also a founding member of several organizations, including the Greater Lowell Technical High School, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell Development and Financial Corporation and Lowell Telecommunications Corp. Duncan is chairman of the board of trustees of Lowell General Hospital and a board member and former president of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. He serves on the advisory committees of the Revolving Museum and Whistler House Museum of Art and is on the boards of the Greater Lowell Technical High School Charitable Foundation, UMass Lowell’s School of Health and Environment, the City of Lowell Green Building Commission and the Lowell Cemetery.
  • Chaz Maviyane-Davies, described as the “guerilla of graphic design,” takes on issues of consumerism, health, nutrition, social responsibility, the environment and human rights through his art. He uses African proverbs and cultural symbols to illuminate present-day concerns about human rights, the environment and other social justice causes. A native of Zimbabwe who has studied and worked in Britain, Japan, Malaysia, the U.S. and Zimbabwe, Maviyane-Davies is a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Until recently, he ran the renowned design studio in Zimbabwe, The Maviyane-Project. His art work is included in several permanent collections and he has been published in numerous books, international magazines and newspapers.
  • Robert C. Pozen is chairman of MFS Investment Management, which manages more than $150 billion in assets for more than 5 million investors worldwide. He served as secretary of economic affairs under Gov. Mitt Romney, chairman of an advisory committee charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with devising a way to improve financial reporting and on President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Pozen is on the board of directors of Medtronic and Bell Canada Enterprises and teaches business courses at Harvard University.

The University will also honor Kathleen Beaumont Allen with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Allen served as corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Millipore, based in Billerica, until her retirement in 2008. Allen was a recipient of the 2003 Francis Cabot Lowell Award in honor for her contributions to the University community. She is also a member of the College of Management Advisory Board.
For the second year, the chancellor will host a Commencement Eve celebration to recognize the honorary degree recipients, Distinguished Alumni Award winner and student award recipients. Proceeds from sponsorships and tickets will go to the UMass Lowell Scholars Fund, which supports tuition and other financial needs of UMass Lowell students.

More information, including a complete schedule of Commencement activities, is available at

UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. .

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224