UMass Dartmouth Announces 2019 Commencement Speakers

Undergraduate ceremonies planned for May 10 on campus; Graduate School and School of Law ceremonies May 13 on campus

Headshots of 2019 Commencement Speakers

Supreme Judicial Court Justice Elspeth Cypher, Congressman William R. Keating, Massachusetts Life Science Center President & CEO Travis McCready, and Tufts Medical Center CEO Emeritus Ellen Zane will address the Class of 2019 at the 119th UMass Dartmouth Commencement ceremonies on May 10 and 13.

Judge Cypher and Ellen Zane will receive honorary degrees; Congressman Keating and Travis McCready will be honored with the Chancellor’s Medal.

“UMass Dartmouth is proud to honor these four exemplars of leadership and service,” Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said. “By applying their intellect, skills, and energy to their professional pursuits, each has dedicated their life to strengthening the fabric of our society.”

Two undergraduate ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 10, 2019. Both ceremonies will be held on Cressy Field on the main UMass Dartmouth campus at 285 Old Westport Rd, Dartmouth. The location allows for an unlimited number of family and friends to attend. All ceremonies will be held rain or shine.

Ellen Zane will speak at the first undergraduate ceremony for the College of Nursing, Charlton College of Business, and the College of Visual & Performing Arts. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Congressman Keating will speak at the second undergraduate ceremony for the College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences. The ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m.

The School of Law and graduate student ceremonies will be held on Monday, May 13, 2019.

Justice Cypher will speak at the School of Law ceremony, which will be held at the Main Auditorium on the main UMass Dartmouth campus at 10 a.m.

Travis McCready will speak at the graduate student ceremony, which will be held on Cressy Field, beginning at 2 p.m.

Information about student speakers for each ceremony will be released soon.

More about the honorees:

Justice Elspeth B. Cypher

Justice Elspeth B. Cypher, a native of the South Coast, was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court by Governor Baker on March 31, 2017. For many years, Justice Cypher was an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Law, where she taught courses on legal writing; criminal procedure; criminal law; and women, law, and the legal system. She has participated in numerous educational programs for judges and lawyers and has written extensively about developments in criminal law in Massachusetts. Active in the Massachusetts Bar Association, Justice Cypher was the recipient of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's Lawyer of the Year Award in 2000. 

Congressman William R. Keating

Congressman William R. Keating represents Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional District, which encompasses the state’s South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod, and the Islands. The Congressman’s legislative priorities include working to create jobs by supporting small businesses and increasing educational opportunities; strengthening middle-class families; improving domestic security; providing senior population with the resources they need; ensuring veterans receive the benefits they deserve; and protecting unique ecosystems. Congressman Keating is a senior member of the House, sitting on both the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees. He currently serves as Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Through his work, he has cemented his role as one of the lead national security and foreign policy experts in Congress.

Travis McCready

As the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Travis McCready runs a $1 billion public-private partnership with the mission of advancing the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts. McCready directs and oversees the center’s investment strategy, including the agency’s operations, programs, and partnerships. Previously, McCready served as the Vice President for Programs at The Boston Foundation, directing the Foundation’s grants and community investment strategy to benefit the people of Greater Boston. A native of Brooklyn, Mr. McCready began his career as a public school teacher in the Bronx, NY.

Ellen M. Zane

Ellen M. Zane is a nationally renowned health care leader who retired as President & Chief Executive Officer of Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children in 2011. She was the first woman to run the hospital in its 222-year history. The hospital employs more than 5,000 doctors, nurses, researchers, and other healthcare workers. She is vice chair on the Tufts Medical Center Board of Trustees. She holds two faculty appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine including Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Care Research and Assistant Professor of Public Health & Community Medicine.  Additionally, Ellen holds a faculty appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management.

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