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2014 Commencement Honoree

His Excellency Deval L. Patrick
Chancellor’s Medal
Commencement Address

Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Deval Patrick was reelected to a second four-year term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in November 2010, renewing his commitment to expanding opportunity and prosperity in the state. Governor Patrick’s life has charted a path from the South Side of Chicago to Fortune 500 boardrooms to the U.S. Justice Department and the Massachusetts State House.

First elected in 2006 on a platform of hope and change, Governor Patrick entered office propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign. Despite a challenging economic environment, the Patrick administration maintained or expanded the Commonwealth’s investment in critical growth sectors while delivering timely and balanced budgets. Governor Patrick funded public education at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth, and his administration’s school reform initiatives earned Massachusetts the top spot in the national Race to the Top competition.

Through targeted initiatives that play to the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, such as his landmark 10-year, $1 billion program to promote the state’s life sciences industry, the Governor has positioned the state as a global leader in biotech, bio pharmaceuticals and IT. Massachusetts has also become a national leader in clean energy and home to the country’s first offshore wind farm. His support of the UMass School of Law at UMass Dartmouth was critical to the establishment of the state’s first public law school.

Governor Patrick, the first in his family to attend college, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. After clerking for a federal judge, he had a successful career in the private sector as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive positions at Texaco and Coca-Cola. In 1994, President Clinton appointed him as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation’s top civil rights post.

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