Skip to main content

News and Announcements

  • Chancellor Subbaswamy Addresses 2013 Stockbridge School Commencement

    Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor of UMass Amherst, addresses the Stockbridge School Commencement on May 11, 2013 in Bowker Auditorium

     

    Good morning, Stockbridge graduates, families, friends, faculty, staff, alumni, and advocates!

    Of all the commencement celebrations on campus, yours is the last, the smallest, and, from what I hear, the most tight-knit. Which befits Stockbridge as being, in many ways, the innermost core of our campus. For those of you in arboriculture and forest management, I would say Stockbridge is like the heartwood of the tree that is UMass Amherst. This year, as we celebrate our sesquicentennial, we can see how much our campus has grown outward from the original agricultural core of the old “Mass Aggie,” much like rings on a tree. You really started it all, setting into motion the high standards that are our hallmarks as a flagship university.

    Stockbridge graduates are the agricultural leaders of our future. I have noticed that you call many of your disciplines “green industries.” I have the utmost confidence that you will lead the way toward a more sustainable tomorrow. As farmers, horticulturalists, turf managers, and animal scientists, you are more critical than ever to helping our human society maintain a healthy ecological balance on the planet.

    This is a historical year not only for UMass Amherst, but also for the Stockbridge School itself. Much has changed at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. You are now officially a “school within a college,” with all the honors and distinction that bestows. Your faculty members have specialties as diverse as fruits, vegetables, horses, physiology, entomology, pathology, molecular biology, and sustainability.

    Yours is the very first graduating class to include bachelor of science students in these important new majors…. Would you cheer when I call yours?
    Sustainable Food & Farming…
    Sustainable Horticulture…
    and Turfgrass Science and Management.
    For the first time in its history, Stockbridge offers graduate education, research, and extension outreach. And in a sign of its perennial versatility, Stockbridge continues to offer its classic associate’s degree programs with care and enthusiasm. Would those receiving associate’s degrees please give a cheer?

    One of the most exciting events for me during Founders Week was breaking ground for the new Agricultural Center in Wysocki-Adams Field. Many alumni have related to me their fond memories of the Percheron horses in the old Horse Barn. I am proud to say that the barn is being repurposed, as a learning laboratory for every branch of agriculture native to Massachusetts. It is going to be a showpiece for the entire Commonwealth.

    Agriculture is key to human survival. It makes me happy to know that you take your mission utterly seriously, while at the same time you approach your work with good will, camaraderie, and hearts full of spirit. And, as you well know, the Stockbridge School definitely has the most loyal alumni! You have maintained your independent spirit over the fifteen decades of our history. You embody the pure principle of our land-grant mission, put into practice every day with your boots in the mud and your hands in the dirt. Stockbridge is helping UMass Amherst lead the way to a sustainable, food-secure future. I am proud to be your Chancellor. Congratulations, graduates! Go, UMASS!

  • Chancellor Subbaswamy Addresses 2013 Graduate School Commencement

    Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor of UMass Amherst addresses the Graduate School Commencement ceremony, May 10, 2013 in the Mullins Center.

     

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the commencement ceremony of the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst! I congratulate you all on the long and demanding road you have traveled to arrive here this morning.

    Everyone here has earned every atom of pride he or she is feeling today: you, and your families, and your mentors. I encourage you all to bask in it. The road to an advanced degree is often complex. To commit to a graduate education while juggling the responsibilities of an adult life requires stamina, sacrifice, self-confidence and sheer determination.

    Many of you came from very far away to study at UMass Amherst. You are an exceedingly diverse population, representing a global community of scholars: One-third of you receiving advanced degrees today are international students. You remind me of my days receiving my PhD in physics from Indiana University, so far from my family’s home in Bangalore! I am pleased that you chose to earn your degrees here, at this great research university that is the flagship of the Commonwealth.

    On your path to graduation, many of you have been helped along the way by those who are in the audience. High achievement seldom happens in a vacuum, and our success often belongs to many more people than just ourselves. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” could just as easily be “It takes a village to earn a master’s or a PhD!”

    First, I must say that a graduate degree can be very much a family enterprise. Few of us would ever complete that journey if it were not for our partners, spouses, parents, siblings, children, and friends. They give moral support, time, and energy: making dinner for us when we are reading for our doctoral exams, going on weekend outings without us when we are up against a dissertation deadline, not commenting when we haven’t taken a shower or slept in three days. The commitment of graduate study involves a whole human family and we should never take them for granted! Graduates, would you join me in a round of applause for all who have supported you?

    We also would never have made it to our advanced degrees without the support of our advisors. They encourage us, challenge us, goad us, and sometimes vex us. But always because they want us to try hard and to be our best. Today marks an important landmark in the history of our graduate school commencement ceremony. For the first time, we are incorporating the old tradition of advisors hooding their advisees. This ritual underlines the importance of the mentor relationship in creating scholars who are part of a lineage. Your advisors honor you and acknowledge you as the future caretakers of your discipline. Graduates, would you join me in saluting your faculty advisors and members of your committees in attendance?

    We would not be a great research university without participating in the worldwide network of disciplines represented by our graduates and by our faculty, or without an enduring commitment to graduate education. When I look out at all of you, I see a bright future. Each of you will have your own individual contribution to make to your field. I look forward to seeing what you discover, and what you create. One characteristic that all UMass students have in common, regardless of what they study, or where they come from, is that you all are bright, bold, unconventional thinkers. Sometimes I think that is the real reason this is called the Pioneer Valley. At this campus, you receive an inheritance of innovation from forward-thinkers in all of your fields, across the decades.

    Much of that innovation is inspired by public service. When we are pressed by a higher cause, when we know that other people are relying on us and will benefit from our work, we are inspired to think in original ways. So as we prepare to present you with your diplomas and your hoods, I know that you will keep the legacy of UMass Amherst alive throughout the world. During our sesquicentennial year, we are able to take stock and reflect on how influential this campus is through the enormous contributions of our graduates. Each one of you bears a spark of that legacy. Be guided by a sense of service in all that you do and you will always make the right choices. I believe in you! Go, UMASS!

  • Special Message from the UMass Police Department

    On behalf of the University of Massachusetts Police Department I would like to congratulate all 2013 graduates and welcome their family and friends to the upcoming Commencement ceremonies. In order to maintain a safe and enjoyable event, it is important to remember that security is everyone’s responsibility and awareness of your surroundings is paramount. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to a police officer or university employee for prompt action.

    All Commencement attendees are encouraged to leave personal bags at home or secured in their vehicles and out of sight. No item may be left at the gate or entrance. Bags and other items that are carried into the Commencement ceremony are subject to a visual search. To alleviate delays in entering the venue, attendees are asked not to carry in items that will necessitate a search. The following items should not be brought into the Commencement ceremonies:

    • Weapons or any item that can be construed as a weapon
    • Backpacks
    • Bags (including gift bags)
    • Briefcases
    • Wrapped gifts
    • Fireworks
    • Laptop computers/Tablets
    • Food or beverages
    • Laser pointers or similar items
    • Beach balls or other inflatable items

    The UMass Police Department will be working with our local and state partners to provide a safe and secure environment as the backdrop for this memorable occasion. Please be cautious while traveling on campus due to the increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic that will be present. Police officers will be available to guide you to your destination and answer any questions you may have.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding and look forward to sharing this very special time with you. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    Chief John Horvath
    UMass Police Department

  • Commencement to Honor Exceptional Student Leadership and Achievement

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor the exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership of its most talented and accomplished graduating seniors during Undergraduate Commencement.

     
    Eleven graduating seniors have been named 21st Century Leaders and will be honored for far-ranging achievement, initiative and social awareness. Ten of those being recognized are members of Commonwealth Honors College.
    • Zachary Robert Bemis, a civil engineering major with a minor in geology, is from Southborough. He was president of the campus chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and helped secure $6,000 for the chapter’s activities. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin.

    • Michael J. Boucher, of Southampton, is a dual major in microbiology and biochemistry and molecular biology. His research has won acclaim from faculty, and he was one of the few undergraduates to present research at the international Molecular Parasitology conference at Woods Hole. Boucher will enter the doctoral program in microbiology and immunology at Stanford University.

    • Caroline Conena, of East Sandwich, is a double major in management and public health sciences. In addition to her academic work, throughout her four years at UMass Amherst Conena has excelled as a middle-distance runner on the women’s track and field team. She has accepted a professional job at CommunicateHealth, a Northampton firm where she was an intern.

    • Tracy Gebhart, of Sioux Falls, S.D., majored in women, gender, sexuality studies and, through the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program, completed a second major, “Civic Engagement and Public Health Education through Media Production.” She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy from UMass Amherst.

    • Sarah C. Kelley, of Woburn, is an anthropology major. She served an internship at the Center for Education, Policy and Advocacy’s Student Labor Action Project and won a scholarship that allowed her to pursue an internship with Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and was a part-time Americorps Student Leader in Service. Kelley plans to travel to Latin America to teach English.

    • Kate Liedell, a major in chemistry with a minor in education, is from Westborough. She is a member of the College of Natural Sciences’ Student Leadership Committee. Liedell played flute in the Minuteman Marching Band. She plans to earn a master’s degree in education at UMass Amherst and become a high school chemistry teacher.

    • Timothy Light, of Pelham, is a civil and environmental engineering major. He twice traveled to Kenya with Engineers Without Borders. He has served two internships with local consulting engineering firms and volunteers for two Habitat for Humanity projects. He has accepted a position with Langan Engineering in Elmwood Park, N.J., and intends to earn a master’s degree after gaining work experience.

    • Kristen Richard is a kinesiology major from Leominster. She received a Baystate Student Summer Scholar Research Grant and for the past four years has been a Special Olympics soccer partner. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. Richard will attend the M.D. program at Tufts University.

    • Ankur Sheel, of Amherst, has a double major in biochemistry and molecular biology and neuroscience. He was selected as an elective student at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, England, organized the first youth empowerment seminar at Amherst Regional High School and has coached youth soccer. He plans to earn an M.D/Ph.D. and serve with Doctors Without Borders.

    • Michael Veling, of Lincoln, double-majored in chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology. He is the recipient of a National Goldwater Scholarship for scientific research. He was an employee and board member at The Food Project. Veling will attend the graduate program in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    • Thandolwethu Zono, a native of South Africa, transferred to UMass Amherst as a sophomore on a field hockey scholarship. A resource economics major, she has been a tour guide on campus since arriving in Amherst and a mainstay of Athletes in Action, a ministry for campus athletes. She plans to play for the Rockingham Redbacks Hockey Club in Australia and then earn a master’s degree in economics.

     

    In addition, four graduating seniors will be recognized for their leadership and executive ability as Jack Welch Scholars.

    • Brandon Matthew Auger, of Shrewsbury, majored in accounting and history. He won an Academic Excellence Award as a junior, and was chair of community service activities at the Isenberg School of Management in his first two years. He interned at the international accounting firm Grant Thornton and will join that company as an audit associate in the fall.

    • Philip Edward MacClellan is a civil engineering major from Franklin. As a member of Engineers Without Borders he designed a sustainable, hand-operated water pump for use in the Amazon River valley, and traveled to Brazil to install it. He plans to stay at UMass Amherst and earn a master’s degree in environmental and water resources engineering.

    • Kathleen E. Murphy, of North Andover, is a finance major with an economics minor. She spent her junior year at the London School of Economics, traveled to 11 countries and tutored students in London primary schools. She also did an accounting internship in Dublin, Ireland. She was captain of the intramural soccer team. Murphy will move to London in the fall to work in the management consulting analyst development program at Accenture LLP.

    • Nicolas James Frederick Skarzynski is a chemical engineering major from Montague. For four years he played trombone in the Minuteman Marching Band. He plans to attend Carnegie Mellon University in the fall where he will earn a doctorate in chemical engineering with a focus on renewable energy technology and policy with a focus on solar energy technologies.

     
    The student speaker at the Undergraduate Commencement will be graduating senior Adam E. Schultz of Sudbury, a hospitality and tourism major. An avid hockey fan, Schultz attended every home hockey game during his four years on campus along with many away games. He was the team’s “Flag Guy” for the 2012-13 season. Following graduation Schultz plans to explore other parts of the country and pursue a career in restaurant management.

  • Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express, will Deliver Keynote Address at Undergraduate Commencement

    Undergraduate Commencement at UMass Amherst will feature a keynote address by Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express Company, to the 5,500 graduates and their families and friends.Chenault will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony. Chenault joined American Express in 1981 and became president and chief operating officer in 1997. He assumed his current responsibilities as CEO in 2001, and later that year became chairman.

    Chenault serves on the board of corporate and nonprofit organizations including IBM, Procter & Gamble, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. He is also a member of the Business Council and serves on the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable.

  • Chancellor Subbaswamy Addresses 2013 Undergraduate Commencement

    Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor of UMass Amherst addresses the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, May 10, 2013 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium

     

    Congratulations to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Class of 2013! Give yourselves a great round of applause!

    Today we send you forth from this Pioneer Valley, to become pioneers in your fields of work, study, and invention. And we do so with great confidence in your ability to touch lives in communities near and far. For 150 years, UMass Amherst students have been bright, bold, unconventional thinkers. You carry that flagship legacy forward with you to make an impact in the wider world.

    This is a special commencement for UMass Amherst because you are the graduating class of our sesquicentennial year. Behind you is the power of fifteen decades of study, research, advocacy for higher education, innovation on behalf of the common good, and sheer collective effort!

    I mean it when I say that we as a university send you forth with confidence. I have the utmost faith in what you will accomplish in the world beyond our campus. I can say that because you are already involved with that world.

    To some extent, what we are all grappling with is change: throughout society, and personally. Your generation must be globally aware, technologically savvy, and adaptable in completely new ways. From what you have shown me this year alone, I believe you are up to any challenge. You have shown dedication as humanitarian advocates, policy aficionados, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, and teachers. You have an awareness that the future depends on you. Many of the advances in sustainability we have implemented on this campus are due in a large part to your dedication and commitment to seeing them through. And to future generations of UMass students, you have already shown a tremendous esprit de corps with your class gift to restore the Old Chapel to its former glory.

    When the Old Stone Chapel was built (—it wasn’t always old, by the way!—), it gave our campus a heart. You can imagine all the Chapel has seen over the years from its high vantage. You, hustling alongside the Campus Pond texting and hurrying to meet your friends at the Blue Wall. Slackliners. Rope pulls. War protests. The Minuteman Marching Band! Civil rights rallies. Sock hops on the lawn. Personal moments as well as historical moments, all the way back to farm boys getting out of their gigs to attend their first classes at Mass Aggie.

    As we celebrate our Sesquicentennial year, we realize that the life of this university campus is made up of countless individual moments. The moments of your life on campus, both random and purposeful, have magnified the power and impact of UMass Amherst in the world. You have contributed to the momentum that will carry us to our three-hundredth anniversary.

    Not only have you inherited, but you have helped to create a legacy of education for the common good, of innovation and enterprise that is of benefit to all people. You are beneficiaries of the past and benefactors of the future. That ongoing legacy is the foundation of the University of Massachusetts. Over the decades to come, you will add considerably to that legacy.

    UMass Amherst stands for the hopes, the ambitions, the bold experiments and innovative solutions of the people of the Commonwealth and the world beyond. Our alumni constitute a global network of extraordinary influence. Everything that you go forth to do shines back on us.

    So, as I send you on your way, I have to invite you back. Please come back to see us. We want you to visit often. The Old Chapel will be waiting for you. And we want your children to come here! On their Commencement day, you can sit in the stands and beam with pride for them, as your families are doing for you, right at this moment.

    So on behalf of this campus, on behalf of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, of which you will always be a part, and with all the applause that is your due, I send you into the world with our favorite charge, in the name of your alma mater: GO UMASS!

  • Stadium and Campus Maps

    Maps show the layout of the stadium, shuttle bus routes, and routes for leaving campus after the Undergraduate Commencment ceremony on Friday night, May 10.

    Friday, May, 10, 2013

    Buses will circulate around campus, stopping at the stadium and at designated bus stops from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. Handicap parking is in Lot 26 in the northwest corner of the campus. After the ceremony, campus police will guide you from your parking lot to the designated exit route from campus. Graduates will enter and sit in the Stadium with their School or College. The Stadium Map shows where each School or College will be seated so you may plan your seating in the stands accordingly.

    Saturday, May, 11, 2013

    Buses will circulate around campus between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., with a bus every 12 minutes, stopping at the locations of the School and College Senior Recognition Ceremonies, as shown in the map below. A dedicated shuttle for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Ceremony will run between parking lots 21, 22 and 33 and the Mullins Center between 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    STADIUM MAP

    POST-COMMENCEMENT SHUTTLES (FRIDAY)

    LEAVING CAMPUS (FRIDAY)

    SENIOR RECOGNITION CERMONY SHUTTLES (SATURDAY)

  • Carry an International Flag in the Commencement Processional

    Commencement 2013 will continue the tradition of including a parade of international flags for the countries represented by graduating international students. Students who have participated in the processional in past years have been thrilled with the enthusiastic welcome they receive from their classmates and guests.If you would like to take part in the processional on Friday, May 10, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. by carrying the flag of your country, please contact Terry Sall at tsall@admin.umass.edu by May 3, 2013.

    Graduates carry the flags into the stadium at the beginning of the commencement ceremony, place the flags 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.

  • Award-Winning UMass Dining

    Enjoy a celebratory dinner in our all-you-care-to-eat Dining Commons. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available at our stunning, award-winning Berkshire Dining Commons in the Southwest Residential Area.  Families of graduating students currently on a UMass meal plan may join their student for complimentary meals. All other students and families, faculty, and staff may dine with us at the Faculty/Staff rate of $7.50 for breakfast, $9.75 for lunch and $12.50 for dinner. Our dinner menu will feature steak, sustainably-caught salmon, scallops, sushi and world cuisines.

    If you are staying at the UMass Hotel at the Campus Center or in Residential Hall-Style Lodging, enjoy a $1.00 discount on all dinner meals. When checking in, please ask for your meal discount coupon.

    Hours: Friday, May 10, 2013, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 11, 2013, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, May 12, 2013, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Parents, Stay Informed!

    Sign up for the Office of Parent Services Mailing List and keep up with what's happening on campus as your student prepares to graduate from UMass Amherst.The parent mailing list is a bimontly email news to families about timely issues, campus happenings, and important upcoming dates for students and tips for families.

    The Office of Parent Services is dedicated to helping families with their transition to the university. The office is here to answer questions, provide timely information and updates, and assist parents and guardians with questions or concerns. Their helpful, knowledgeable staff responds to your phone call or email and is a place to contact when you don't know where to go.