UMass Dartmouth Announces 2014 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Business Leader Robert Leduc '78, Reverend Liz Walker, U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Susan Annicelli '78 to Receive Honorary Degree

UMass Dartmouth announced today the U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Business leader Robert Leduc '78, Reverend Liz Walker, and retired U.S. Army Colonel Susan Annicelli '78 will receive honorary degrees at the 114th Commencement exercises scheduled for May 16-19. 

The University had previously announced that Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray, former UMass Building Authority Executive Director Katherine Craven, and Professor Emeritus Lester Cory will receive the Chancellor's Medal at the Commencement exercises. 

Secretary Moniz, Governor Patrick, Mr. Leduc, and Rev. Walker will be the main speakers at the four ceremonies comprising the Commencement exercises. 

"As we prepare to send the 1,500 members of the Class of 2014 into a world of rapid change related to the environment, the economy, health care, technology and our relationships with each other we will have the benefit of the example projected by our honorees," Chancellor Grossman said. "These are all individuals of immense talent and intellect who have chosen to use their gifts for the betterment of society. We take great pride in having them participate in our Commencement exercises." 

United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, a Fall River native, will deliver the main address and receive an honorary degree at the College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Visual & Performing Arts, and School of Marine Science & Technology combined ceremony on Saturday, May 17 at 10 a.m. Dr. Moniz is responsible for implementing critical Department of Energy missions in support of President Barack Obama's goals of growing the economy, enhancing security and protecting the environment. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Moniz was the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a faculty member since 1973. Most recently, Dr. Moniz served as the founding Director of the MIT Energy Initiative and of the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment and was a leader of multidisciplinary technology and policy studies on the future of nuclear power, coal, nuclear fuel cycles, natural gas and solar energy in a low-carbon world. 

Colonel (Retired) Susan Annicelli '78 will also receive an honorary degree during the Saturday, May 17 commencement exercises. Prior to her retirement, Colonel Annicelli was among the highest ranking nurses in the military, playing a leadership role at military health care installations around the country and overseas. Among her many assignments was commander of the the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia, the most technologically advanced Department of Defense hospital; deputy commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and Deputy Commander at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in German. Colonel Annicelli graduated from the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing in 1978. 

Robert F. Leduc '78 will be the main speaker and receive an honorary degree at the Charlton College of Business ceremony on Friday, May 16 at 10 a.m. Mr. Leduc was recently appointed an advisor to Advent International, one of the world's largest private equity firms, following a 36-year career at Untied Technologies Corporation. He served as President of UTC Aerospace Systems Boeing Programs and Space Systems. Mr. Leduc and his wife Jeanne are founding donors of the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement at UMass Dartmouth. 

Reverend Liz Walker will deliver the main address and receive an honorary degree at the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony on Friday, May 16 at 2:30 p.m. Reverend Walker was recently installed as Pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church. She is an award-winning television journalist, a documentary film producer, an entrepreneur and a humanitarian. 
After witnessing the human rights atrocities in Sudan during a fact-finding mission in 2001, Walker co-founded My Sister's Keeper, a grassroots initiative that advocates for women and children. 

As previously announced, Governor Patrick will receive the Chancellor's Medal and deliver the main address at the School of Law Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 19. 

All of the ceremonies, except for the Law School Commencement, will be held in Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. In the event of the rain, these ceremonies will be moved to the Tripp Athletic Center. The Law School ceremony will be held in the Main Auditorium on the main campus, rain or shine. 

For more information on 2014 UMass Dartmouth Commencement exercises, please visit or call 508.910.6971.

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