Recording-Breaking Commencement Eve Gala Honors Excellence
LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell has raised more than $670,000 for student scholarships through tonight’s Commencement Eve Celebration – surpassing last year’s record by 30 percent.
The annual “Honoring Excellence” event – which will recognize Commencement speaker Robert Manning ’84 along with this year’s other honorees and top student award winners – is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St. Since 2008, more than $1.5 million has been raised for student scholarships through Commencement Eve events.
The fourth annual gala provides an opportunity for the university community and the public to hear from the honorary degree recipients, Distinguished Alumni Award winner and Commencement speaker, as well as recognize outstanding academic achievement and service by UMass Lowell students.
“The Commencement Eve Celebration has become a tradition for UMass Lowell and the single most important fundraising event for student scholarships each year,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan. “This event not only honors the university’s graduates, alumni and friends, but also current and future students by raising funds to help lower the cost of their education.”
Robert and Donna Manning – both UMass Lowell alumni who grew up in Methuen and now live in Swampscott – announced this week that they are making a multimillion-dollar commitment that will result in more than $5 million toward constructing a new College of Management building and the newly named Robert Manning School of Business. Robert Manning is the chairman and CEO of Boston-based MFS Investment Management, which oversees more than $240 billion in assets. Donna Manning holds nursing and master’s of business administration degrees from UMass Lowell and has been an oncology nurse at Boston Medical Center for 27 years. Both will receive honorary degrees at the Commencement ceremony.
Three other distinguished individuals are being recognized with honorary degrees:
Stuart Mandell of Haverhill, a former UMass Lowell professor and dean. Over four decades at the university, his accomplishments include leading the establishment of the College of Management and being honored as University Professor. He and his wife, Ada, have made contributions to the university including endowing a scholarship for business students and a $250,000 gift annuity, the largest in the history of UMass Lowell and second-largest in the UMass system.
Mico Kaufman of Tewksbury, a renowned sculptor whose work is displayed worldwide in museums, private collections and public spaces, including UMass Lowell’s South Campus. A native of Romania, Kaufman was training as a violinist when World War II interrupted his studies. He later studied sculpture in Rome and came to the United States as a refugee in the 1950s. He worked for several sculpture studios before opening his own in Tewksbury. He has distinguished himself in medallic portraiture, most notably as the only sculptor to be commissioned for four official U.S. presidential medals.
Barbara Hogan of South Africa – a noted anti-apartheid activist who was one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009 – received an honorary degree from UMass Lowell in April at the International Women Leaders Summit on Security through Economic and Social Development. Hogan, who was a political prisoner along with Nelson Mandela and other members of the apartheid opposition, was active in restructuring South Africa’s government and went on to serve in Parliament and top government posts including minister of health and minister of public enterprises. She serves on the Amandla AIDS Fund advisory board, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
John F. Kennedy ’70 of Naples, Fla., formerly of Concord, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Kennedy is chairman of the College of Sciences Board of Advisers, served on the College of Management’s 50th Anniversary Campaign Committee, and was an assistant coach of the UMass Lowell golf team. He is a director of Harvard Bioscience Inc. and Datacom Systems Inc., and previously held top executive and financial posts with Nova Ventures Corp., Nova Analytics Corp., RSA Security Inc., Decalog NV and Natural MicroSystems Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree in math from UMass Lowell and a master’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst, and is president of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation.
The Commencement Eve Celebration recognizes some of the best and brightest members of the Class of 2011, including top academic achievers in each school and college, as well as students who have made outstanding contributions in service to the community and the university.
The 2011 valedictorian is Keith Chamberlain of Burlington, an electrical engineering major who will also receive the Trustees Key for completing four years of undergraduate study with a grade point average of 4.0. He is also the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Academic Achievement in the College of Engineering.
The Chancellor’s Medals for Academic Achievement will also be awarded to Alexander Wall of Burlington, philosophy (College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences); Nicholas Tamvaklis of Lowell, business administration (College of Management); Bryan Crompton of Lowell, mathematics (College of Sciences), Robert Stephanic of San Francisco, Calif., information technology (Continuing Studies and Corporate and Distance Education); and Hannah May of Hardwick, exercise physiology (School of Health and Environment).
The University Medal for Student Service will be awarded to Carly Arico of Waltham, majoring in business administration; David Boyd of Chelmsford, history; Adam Dunbar of Townsend, criminal justice; Michael Mizzoni of Littleton, political science; Michael Reid of Ayer, business administration; and Cailey Watson of Pepperell, political science.
The University Medal for Community Service will be presented to Josiah Bote of Bradford, a biology major; Kila Ngambong of Lowell, biology; Shivshankar Sivasubramanian of Lowell, plastics engineering; and Lucy Wafo of Lowell, biology.
The University Scholar-Athlete Award will be presented to Brianne Bozella of Wilmington, an exercise physiology major.
Commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 28 at 9 a.m. at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. More than 2,570 students, the largest graduating class in UMass Lowell history, are expected to receive associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. The university offers its 14,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu