News and Announcements
View photos from 2012 Commencement ceremonies, including the Graduate School Ceremony, Undergraduate Ceremony, Stockbridge School Ceremony, Commonwealth Honors College Celebration of Excellence and Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony, as the photos become available.Photos from Senior Recognition Ceremonies
During the Senior Recognition Ceremonies for each School and College, graduates will be photographed in their regalia. GradImages is the official photographer for the UMass Commencement. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or online at www.gradimages.com. Registering with GradImages provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment. Register your email now and receive $5 off orders of $25 of more.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst will again honor the exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership of its most talented and accomplished undergraduates during Undergraduate Commencement.
Thirteen graduating seniors have been named 21st Century Leaders and will be honored for far-ranging achievement, initiative and social awareness. Twelve of those being recognized are members of Commonwealth Honors College. This year’s 21st Century Scholars are:
• Hannah "Rivka" Dolberg Barrett of Lexington, a psychology major with a research interest in the stereotyping and the social and personal consequence of hearing loss who will attend Australian National University in Canberra as a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar.
• Daniel K. Burke, a double major in accounting and psychology from Sandwich who, as a Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer, ensured that the family with whom he had worked was provided for after they lost their home and possessions in last October’s snow emergency.
• Maheen Chaudhry, a double major in biology and psychology from Hadley, whose research projects included quality of life issues for people with Huntington’s disease and early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Caitlin R. Ellis, a double major in legal studies and political science from Billerica, who served as an intern and later as office manager for the Massachusetts Appeals Court and who will attend Suffolk University Law School under a Trustees Merit Scholarship.
• Andrew Erwin of Mansfield, a mechanical engineering major, runner and resident assistant who, as a first-year student, was part of a team that modified a Faraday flashlight so that it could charge a battery and be attached to a user’s shoe to recharge an electronic device with energy generated by walking.
• Tara A. Mahendrarajah, a microbiology major from Framingham whose research focused on plant-degrading bacteria and applications in biofuels development. She also received a Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Education, the nation’s most prestigious award for undergraduates in the sciences.
• John I. Mange, Jr. of North Andover, a music major with concentrations in trumpet performance, music education and music theory who was the founding president of the campus’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity and who received 2010 Presser Award for outstanding achievement in music.
• Michael McDonough, a finance major from Woburn who received the Isenberg School of Management’s 2012 Faculty Award for Excellence in Finance and is a co-founder of the Isenberg Advancement Program, created to foster community within the school.
• Yevin Roh of Dorchester, a public health sciences major, sociology minor and resident assistant who is the outgoing president of the Student Government Association and who was a major contributor to the Code of Student Conduct’s hate crime and hate speech policy.
• Erica Rothschild of Riverdale, New York,, who pursued a degree in social justice education and conflict resolution through the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program. Her volunteer initiatives spanned political and cultural causes, and she will work with the Jewish Service Corps next year.
• Christopher M. Roy, a microbiology major from Berlin, New Hampshire, whose Marine Corps service included deployment in Iraq. He helped form Bacteriotix, a small biotech startup, whose goal is to identify and develop novel antimicrobials active against bacterial pathogens, which led to his team winning the $30,000 Isenberg School of Management’s Innovation Challenge.
• Jose Enrique Torres-Cooban of Marietta, Georgia, who majored in civil and environmental engineering and minored in geology after receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from New York University and completing the first year of a master’s degree program at the New England Conservatory of Music, and who has been deeply involved in Engineers Without Borders.
• Chia-Ying Wu, a dual major in music and psychology from Taiwan and gifted violinist who combined her interests in music and psychology in the campus’s developmental disability and human services program.
In addition, six graduating seniors will be recognized for their leadership and executive ability as Jack Welch Scholars. They are:
• Daniel K. Burke, also a 21st Century Leader Award winner, whose studies have taken him to Ireland, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong and Cuba, and who has led the Isenberg School of Management Undergraduate Leadership Council and Commonwealth Honors College’s Student Advisory Board.
• Kevin Cunningham, a chemical engineering major from Braintree who has conducted materials engineering research at UMass Amherst, MIT and Harvard and who, as a brother in Pi Kappa Phi, helped build wheelchair ramps in the Amherst area.
• Rebecca F. Guihan of Melrose, a civil and environmental engineering major whose independent research honors thesis evaluated the quality of the Climate Forecast System model and its usefulness in systems operational planning, and who, elected to the board of the Society of Women Engineers, created a mentoring program for first-year and transfer women students.
• Nicholas Jacek, a computer systems engineering major from Tyngsboro, whose senior thesis on vehicular networks and collision-warning systems helped to develop an adaptive algorithm for driver-reaction time.
• Laura Surdek of West Roxbury, an operations and information management major who served as fundraising co-chair for the Isenberg School of Management’s Honors Council and as vice president of corporate liaisons for the campus chapter of the operations management association APICS.
• Patrick Witz, a double major in accounting and economics from East Longmeadow, who was a lead financial analyst for the Minutemen Equity Fund, helping to manage the student-run portion of the UMass endowment.
The student speaker at the Undergraduate Commencement will be graduating senior Isaac Himmelman of Santa Monica, California, a political science major with a minor in Judaic and Near Eastern studies. An enthusiastic boxer and pianist, Himmelman’s passion for performance led to his involvement with the Daniel Pearl Foundation, where he helped coordinate the organization’s second annual world-music festival.
The Friends of the Jones Library is offering bed and breakfast accommodations in local homes to out-of-town visitors attending UMass Amherst Commencement ceremonies.
Proceeds from the home stay program benefit the Library's book fund.
This home stay program is not affiliated with UMass Amherst. All questions and arrangements shoulde be addressed directly to the Library.
Ted Koppel, one of the nation’s most highly respected and honored television journalists, will be the featured speaker at Undergraduate Commencement.
Koppel’s legendary work on ABC News’ “Nightline” defined modern television journalism by conducting the first live interviews on a daily basis with newsmakers across the globe, beginning with the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. As anchor and managing editor, his reporting touched on every major news story for 25 years, making him the longest-serving news anchor in network history. Currently, he is a special correspondent with “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on NBC.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub said Koppel is an excellent choice to inspire graduates. “Ted Koppel worked his way to the pinnacle of his profession and has reported on some of the most important events in the last half century. Throughout it all, he has been a calm and reasoned reporter of facts and an insightful observer of human behavior during the most stressful periods of our collective history. He has earned the trust of his colleagues and the respect of his audience with his extraordinary professionalism and skill.”
Koppel’s broadcasting career spans half a century, and he has been honored with every major professional recognition. He left “Nightline” in November 2005 and was named managing editor of the Discovery Channel, anchoring and producing long-form programming that examined major global events. In addition to his “Rock Center” role, he currently contributes to NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.”
He began his broadcasting career as an NBC news page and then took a job at WMCA Radio, New York. In 1963, Koppel joined ABC Radio News as a correspondent for its daily Flair Reports program, where one of his first assignments was to cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Koppel moved to television in 1966 when reporting on the Vietnam War. During his 42 years at ABC News, Koppel also worked as anchor of “The ABC Saturday Night News,” chief diplomatic correspondent, Vietnam War correspondent and Hong Kong bureau chief. He has also had a major reporting role in every presidential campaign since 1964.
Koppel’s broadcasting honors include the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, 41 Emmy Awards, eight George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 duPont-Columbia Awards, 10 Overseas Press Club Awards, two George Polk Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, the highest honor bestowed for public service by the Society of Professional Journalists. Among his other tributes are the first Gold Baton in the history of the duPont-Columbia Awards for “Nightline’s” weeklong series originating from South Africa, the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators and selection as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees from universities in the United States.
A native of Lancashire, England, Koppel moved to the United States with his parents when he was 13 years old and became a U.S. citizen in 1963. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in mass communications research and political science from Stanford University.
Koppel is married to Grace Anne Dorney of New York City. They live in Maryland, and have four children and seven grandchildren.
What are your thoughts as a graduating senior? Would you like to share them with your classmates, family and friends? If so, you are invited to submit a proposal for consideration as the Student Commencement Speaker.
Who is eligible: Graduating Amherst campus senior, Class of 2012
Subject matter: Your proposed speech must be written by you as an individual, no group or collaborative submissions. It should be of general interest to graduating seniors as well as to parents and other guests. It may address your impressions and experiences, both academic and extra-curricular. It may express your thoughts as your look to the future.
Format: Submit approximately two word-processed/typed pages, double-spaced, or the equivalent of three to four minutes speaking time. Speeches exceeding this limit will not be considered.
Selection process: A non-voting staff person will delete the name of each author after which a committee of students (majority), staff, and faculty will review the proposals. Three to five individuals will be invited to audition before the committee in March, after which the speaker will be selected.
Deadline: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
Submit proposals to: Karin Moyano Camihort, Student Speaker Selection Committee, Center for Teaching, 301 Goodell Building (413-545-1225) email@example.com.
The Senior Leadership Award was established by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association in 1989 to recognize graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the campus. Seniors who have made major contributions in areas such as academic excellence, student organizations, athletics, campus jobs, or community and volunteer services are eligible. In addition to active involvement in the life of the campus, eligible candidates must demonstrate a serious commitment to their academic pursuit.
Student must be a member of the Class of 2012 (February, May or August graduates) and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.
Seniors must be nominated by a UMass Amherst faculty or staff member to be eligible. Nominations take place online at http://alumni-association-senior-leadership.trofeeonline.com/.
For any additional information, contact Melanie Cosgrove in the Alumni Association at 413-545-9705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks nominations of graduating seniors for the 21st Century Leaders Award. Nominees will be characterized by their determination to fulfill their academic potential and achieve personal goals. This award recognizes the strong academic record and exemplary achievement of undergraduate students who further distinguished their intellectual accomplishments, and enhanced the reputation of the University by contributing to the campus community in one or more of the following ways:
- Demonstrating strong leadership qualities, characterized by the ability to unite and inspire others toward positive action
- Expanding the intellectual climate of their academic area through noteworthy original research
- Markedly improving the quality of life for others through community service, either internal to the University or beyond the borders of our campus
- Advancing the teaching mission of the University as an exceptional undergraduate teaching assistant whose efforts continually motivate others to learn
- Exemplifying perseverance and courage by overcoming extraordinary personal obstacles through resolve and a determination to excel
- Participating in the demands of public presentations, either by exhibiting a truly inspiring caliber of artistic talent, through creation or performance, or by excelling in the competitive demands of athleticism
Nominees are exemplars within the undergraduate community, having demonstrated intelligence, integrity, discipline, courage, compassion, and a sense of humor. They will be recognized for this high academic performance, and for the prestige and honor they bring to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, both as undergraduates and as alumni joining the larger community.
Up to twelve students will be awarded the 21st Century Leaders Award at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony. Recipients will receive a plaque and an award of $1,000 from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association.
To nominate a graduating senior as a 21st Century Leader from the Class of 2012, please download and complete this form by February 10, 2012. Supporting materials and additional letters of support are due by Friday, February 17, 2012.
If you have questions, please contact the Office of External Relations and University Events, which coordinates this award, at 413-577-1101 or email@example.com.
Commencement 2012 will continue the tradition of including a parade of flags for the countries represented by graduating international students. If you would like to take part in the processional on Friday, May 11, 2012, at 4:00 p.m., by carrying the flag of your country please contact Terry Sall at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 7, 2012.
Students who have participated in the processional in past years have been thrilled with the enthusiastic welcome they receive from their classmates and guests. Graduates carry the flags into the stadium at the beginning of the commencement ceremony, place the flag in special stands on the field, then join their classmates for the remainder of the ceremony. If you have questions, please call Terry at 413-545-4894. If more than one person volunteers to do this for the same country, the first request will be accepted as the flag carrier, and others may march beside the flag carrier.
Sign up now for cap and gown portraits to be taken April 24-26 when GradImages® will be offering free cap and gown portrait sittings at UMass Amherst.
- Each portrait sitting is efficient and takes less than 15 minuntes and will result in multiple image choices
- Free proofs of all images will be e-mailed and mailed to you, so there is no need to make your purchasing decision on that day
- You have nothing to lose! There is no obligation to purchase these photographs
- Our staff will have complete commencement regalia on site for you to use.
- Wear a nice shirt/blouse. Even though the provided gown will cover most of your clothes, the top part of the shirt is noticeable. Men, wear a dress shirt and bring a tie.
- Be prepared to look your best.
Portrait sessions will take place in Memorial Hall from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on:
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Schedule your appointment online.
Staying on campus is the best way to be close to all of the Commencement activities. Reserve now before rooms sell out. Campus residence hall accommodations, in single or twin occupancy, provide casual comfort at affordable rates. Each floor offers a lounge that encourages interaction with other guests while offering you the option of retreating to your own room to prepare for the next day’s activities. Parking is free and close by. Linen and towels are provided. There are a few rooms available for guests with disabilities. Rooms will be available for the nights of Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. Rates are $65 for single and $75 for double occupancy per night.
Reserve your rooms on-line or call 413-577-8100. The number of available rooms is limited so please register early. Rooms sold out early for last year's Commencement, so please register as early as possible. There will be no on-site registrations.