UMass Dartmouth awarded 1,529 degrees at its 117th undergraduate commencement exercises held on May 13 at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield.
National Public Radio Legal Correspondent Nina Totenberg was awarded an honorary degree for her “enduring commitment to searching for the truth and to helping to create an informed and discriminating public." In her address to the graduates, Totenberg addressed the current state of civic life and journalism in the country.
“We at once create an echo chamber of information for ourselves, and at the same time have very little sense of national or local community,” she said, and then challenged the Class of 2017: “For God’s sake, don’t just listen to things you agree with…If you hate [political gridlock] you just have to get in there and rumble.”
Dartmouth native Pete Souza, chief White House Photographer during the Obama presidency, was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal.
Psychology major Brandi Bass earned the honor of addressing her classmates and spoke of the university's Corsair spirit.
“While being at UMass Dartmouth we have embodied what it means to be a pirate,” she said. “Because of this, UMass Dartmouth has become our island. The bachelor’s degree we are receiving today is our map. And the treasure we are ready to leave the island for is our passion and purpose in life.”