UMass Dartmouth Celebrates Class of 2014 Nursing, Engineering, Visual & Performing Arts, and School of Marine Science Students

2014 Commencement Represents Culmination of Years of Hard Work for Class of 2014

Today UMass Dartmouth held its Commencement Exercises for the University's College of Nursing, College of Engineering, College of Visual & Performing Arts, and its School of Marine Science & Technology at the UMass Dartmouth Tripp Athletic Center. 

The College of Nursing Class of 2014 is made up of 23 graduates and 109 undergraduates. The College of Engineering is made up of 59 graduates and 183 undergraduates. The College of Visual & Performing Arts is made up of 23 graduates and 120 undergraduates. The School of Marine Science & Technology is made up of 15 graduates. 

"Your education is a wonderful gift -- but not just for you as an individual. The Commonwealth and the nation have invested in your education, which means you leave here with an obligation to work toward a more peaceful, fair and sustainable planet," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman in her address to the graduating class. "Do not let time and distance erode the bonds you have developed with your classmates, faculty and others in this community. Never forget this university. Never forget the people who helped shape you." 

United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz was the main speaker and received an honorary degree at the Commencement ceremony. As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz is tasked with implementing critical Department of Energy missions in support of President Obama's goals of growing the economy, enhancing security and protecting the environment. 

"You have been a part of exactly what we need -- a pioneering group in terms of clean energy and it is really important as you go forward that you sustain that commitment. We all have to pitch in," said Secretary Moniz citing the strong commitment to the environment and sustainable practices of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and UMass Dartmouth. "I do hope you'll remember your responsibility and opportunity to promote your common values, to be part of a responsible public discourse on our shared challenges, to advance the environmental and security imperatives that underpin our values, and maybe even remember these two words of advice -- clean energy." 

UMass Dartmouth College of Engineering Professor Lester Cory '63 received the Chancellor's Medal. The Chancellor's Medal, awarded at the sole discretion of the Chancellor, recognizes individuals and organizations whose contributions to society represent the core values of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth -- lifelong learning, innovative research, and civic engagement. 

Dr. Lester W. Cory has been a member of the UMass Dartmouth community for more than 50 years. He began his teaching career at Bradford Durfee College of Technology (predecessor of UMass Dartmouth) in Electrical Engineering. In 1981, he and two fellow professors incorporated the nonprofit SHARE Foundation (Society for Human Advancement through Rehabilitation Engineering) to provide adaptive equipment for people who are disabled. He is the founding director of the UMass Dartmouth Center for Rehabilitation Engineering. 

United States Army Colonel (Retired) Susan Annicelli '78 will receive an honorary degree. Colonel Annicelli is an Ambulatory Field Surveyor with the Department of Accreditation and Certification Operations at The Joint Commission. Before joining The Joint Commission team, Colonel Annicelli held positions as a practitioner, educator, consultant and senior health care executive in the U.S. Army. 

In 2010, she commanded the newest and most technologically advanced hospital in the Department of Defense--the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. The complex consists of 120 acute-care beds and more than 50 ambulatory clinics. Specialty services included robotic surgery, multi-service endoscopy, invasive cardiology, pain management, radiation oncology, a stone center, residency training programs and two satellite primary care clinics supporting more than 85,000 people. She retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years of active military service. 

Rola Hassoun '14 of the College of Engineering was chosen to address her fellow graduates as the Student Commencement Student Speaker. Ms Hassoun's experience as a UMass Dartmouth student embodies the true spirit of the University--one of academic achievement and civic engagement that has local, regional, and global impact. 

"Through all my experiences at UMass Dartmouth, I was able to connect my civil and environmental engineering degree to any social justice movement I chose to be a part of," said Ms. Hassoun. "Although I had an extensive course load as an engineering major, the opportunities provided at UMass Dartmouth allowed me to find a healthy balance between learning the technical skills I needed to change the future world and changing the world actively today." 

Yesterday, UMass Dartmouth's Commencement ceremonies for the Charlton College of Business and College of Arts & Sciences took place at the University's Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. Business leader Robert Leduc '78 and Reverend Liz Walker addressed the Class of 2014. Chief Administrative Officer of Babson College and former UMass Building Authority Executive Director Katherine Craven and Senate President Therese Murray received the Chancellor's Medal. 

The UMass Law Commencement is scheduled for Monday, May 19 at 10 a.m. in the Main Auditorium on the main campus. Governor Deval Patrick, whose leadership was essential in creating the UMass School of Law at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, will be awarded the Chancellor's Medal for outstanding service to the Commonwealth and will deliver the keynote address at the law school's Commencement Exercises. 

To watch the Commencement in its entirety, visit

UMass Dartmouth's 2014 Commencement is over three days with four ceremonies. This year's undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will take place May 16-19, 2014. The UMass Dartmouth Class of 2014 is made up of 1,587 students representing 210 Massachusetts communities, 21 states, and 23 countries. 

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