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 2014 Commencement Honoree

Therese MurrayThe Honorable Therese Murray
Chancellor’s Medal

Massachusetts State Senate President

Therese Murray was elected Senator for the Plymouth and Barnstable District in 1992 and became the first woman President of the Massachusetts Senate in March 2007. Throughout her career, Sen. Murray has been a driving force on children’s issues and health care reform efforts, and helped pass landmark legislation including the Children’s Mental Health and the Health Care Reform Act of 2006.

Senate President Murray co-authored and passed legislation in 2009 to restructure the Commonwealth’s transportation system and oversaw comprehensive reforms related to public pensions, ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws. In 2010, under her leadership, an economic development bill and small business legislation were passed to streamline state agencies, reduce operating costs and create new opportunities for investment and growth.

Prior to becoming Senate President, Senator Murray served as Chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee for four years, helping craft the annual state budget. Her other major accomplishments include Welfare Reform in 1995 and 2013, a Department of Social Services overhaul in 1997, the consolidation of child care services in 1998, Mental Health Parity legislation in 2000, the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund in 2001, Smart Growth affordable housing in 2004, and education funding reform in 2006. In addition, a health care bill in 2008 that improved cost reporting and transparency, and promotes electronic medical records and uniform billing.

Senator Murray attended the University of Massachusetts Boston and has received honorary degrees from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, New England School of Law, Westfield State University, Suffolk University Law School and Plymouth University in the United Kingdom.