Skip to Main Content

Commencement Eve Celebration Honors Student Leaders


Honorary Degree Recipients, Distinguished Alumni to be Recognized

LOWELL, Mass. - Meet UMass Lowell’s Commencement speaker Harold Ford Jr., chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and former congressman from Tennessee at a benefit for student scholarships on Friday, May 29, the evening before the graduation ceremony.

The Commencement Eve Celebration, open to the public, will also recognize honorary degree recipients, the Distinguished Alumni Award winner and student leaders in community service and academic achievement.  

The event begins at 5 p.m. at the historic Allen House on UMass Lowell’s South Campus. Admission is $100 per person and all proceeds will go to the UMass Lowell Scholars Fund, which assists students with tuition and other financial needs.

The speaking program begins at 6 p.m. and will include brief addresses by Ford and the four honorary degree recipients: Bernard Amadei, founder of Engineers without Borders; George Duncan, chairman of Enterprise Bank; Chaz Maviyane-Davies, a professor and artist whose posters make powerful visual statements on social issues; and Robert Pozen, chairman of MFS Investments and a former Fidelity Investments top executive. Also speaking will be the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Kathleen Beaumont Allen ’77, who served as corporate vice president and chief financial officer of Billerica-based Millipore Corp., until her retirement in 2008.

The chairman of the Commencement Eve Host Committee, alumnus John F. Kennedy ’70, will welcome guests. Eighteen students receiving the Chancellor’s Medal for Academic Achievement, Community Service and Student Service will also be honored.

“This is a great preview of the excellence that we celebrate on Commencement the next day,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan. “In this more intimate setting, the university community can honor our special guests, hear them speak, and meet them face to face. I am also excited that they can meet our top students, who represent just the type of hard-working students who will benefit from the scholarship money we raise from this event.”

Commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 30, starting at 10 a.m. at the Tsongas Arena. About 2,200 graduates, the highest number in UMass Lowell history, are expected to receive bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. 

To attend the Commencement Eve Celebration, contact Elaine Dalton, 978-934-3236, or visit

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