UMass Dartmouth 103rd commencement is May 25; Roberta Flack is speaker

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will hold its 103rd Commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2003 in the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater.

UMass Dartmouth 103rd commencement is May 25; Roberta Flack is speaker 

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will hold its 103rd Commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2003 in the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. The university s faculty and trustees will confer bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees on 1,371 graduates. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to rock singer Roberta Flack, who will give the commencement speech; medical pioneer Dr. M. Judah Folkman; insurance executive and civic leader Joseph H. Feitelberg; and Standard Times publisher William T. Kennedy. 

Roberta Flack s music is described as classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated. She produced a string of romantic, lightjazz ballad hits in the 1970s that continue to enjoy popularity on the radio, as covers by other singers, and on movie soundtracks. 

Flack, daughter of a church organist, started playing piano early. She won a music scholarship from Howard University, from which she graduated. While an undergraduate student teacher, Flack was discovered by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic Records. Her first two albums were well received but produced no hit singles. However, that all changed when a version of Ewan McColl s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to number one in 1972 and remained there for six weeks, becoming the year s biggest hit. Flack followed it with the first of several duets with Howard classmate Donny Hathaway, Where is the Love. 

Killing Me Softly With His Song became Flack s second number one hit in 1973, and after topping the charts again in 1974 with Feel Like Makin Love, Flack took a break from performing to concentrate on recording and charitable causes. She recorded several more hit songs over the next few years, then suffered a devastating personal and professional blow in 1979 when Donny Hathaway committed suicide. Flack found another partner in Peabo Bryson, with whom she toured in 1980. The two recorded together in 1983, scoring a hit duet with Tonight, I Celebrate My Love. 

Flack spent the remainder of the 80s touring and performing with orchestras, and also several times with Miles Davis. She returned to the Top Ten once more in 1991 with Set the Night to Music, a duet with Maxi Priest. 

Flack will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree. 

Dr. M. Judah Folkman is a pioneering researcher who discovered the field of angiogenesis-- the formation of tiny blood vessels around a malignant tumor. Over 30 years ago, Dr. Folkman theorized that solid tumors are angiogenesis-dependent-- dependent on new blood vessel growth-- and predicted the existence of natural angiogenesis inhibitors. Dr. Folkman and his colleagues went on to purify the first of 14 angiogenic molecules and he discovered the first natural angiogenesis inhibitor as well as two other families of inhibitor molecules. Today, these discoveries are being evaluated in several active clinical trials for patients with cancer. 

While it is Dr. Folkman s angiogenesis research which may well immortalize him, it should be noted that he also created the first implantable heart pacemaker and the first implantable drug-delivery capsule. At 34, he became the youngest chief of surgery at Harvard. Dr. Folkman is known not only as a visionary researcher, but also as a humane and dedicated practicing surgeon. Dr. Folkman is currently the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Folkman will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree. 

Joseph Feitelberg is the chairman of The Feitelberg Company, Inc., Fall River, Massachusetts. This insurance and brokerage firm of 50 employees operates from six locations in eastern Massachusetts. He has been its chief executive since 1968. 

Feitelberg devotes considerable energy to providing particular support and leadership in the areas of education and economic development, for which he earned recognition. He is a member of the Steering Committee for both the South Coast Economic Development Partnership and the South Coast Educational Compact and a founding board member and sponsor of UMass Dartmouth s Family Business Center. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his dedication and service including: Person of the Year, Boston Board of Fire Underwriters; Outstanding Citizen Award, Fall River Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Annual Distinguished Citizen Award, Bristol Community College; and Entrepreneur of the Year from the Charlton College of Business at UMass Dartmouth. 

Feitelberg will receive an honorary Doctor of Business. 

From the time he set foot in New Bedford as president and publisher of The Standard-Times in 1993, William T. Kennedy has been an integral part of the community. He is one of the founders and current co-chairmen of the South Coast Development Partnership, a private-public collaboration formed to promote regional economic development. He is also a co-founder of the South Coast Education Compact, a partnership of business leaders and school superintendents who work to improve public education in the region, and a co-founder of the Regional Community Congress, a community renewal effort designed to bring multiple viewpoints together to form a common vision for the region s future. In 1998, he cochaired a capital campaign for the New Bedford Whaling Museum, helping to raise $12. 1 million. 

Kennedy is also currently the general chairman of the annual Greater New Bedford Summerfest, a governor and chairman of the design committee of the New Bedford Oceanarium, a trustee of the Crapo Foundation, a director of the Boston Lyric Opera, and president of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. 

Kennedy will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. 


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