Eleven Seniors to be Recognized at UMass Amherst Commencement May 25

AMHERST, Mass. - Eleven seniors will be recognized as Leaders for the 21st Century during the 133rd Commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sun., May 25, at 10 a.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Approximately 4,000 undergraduates are candidates for bachelor''s degrees. Two honorary degrees will be awarded during the ceremony. The recipients are: University alumna Kathleen A. Cote, managing partner of Boston Commerce Ventures; and Steven M. Gluckstern, founding managing director of Azimuth Alternative Asset Management, also a UMass alumnus. Chancellor John V. Lombardi and President William M. Bulger will offer remarks, and a student speaker will speak briefly.

A reception for graduates and their families hosted by the chancellor will take place immediately following the ceremony, under a tent located in the southeast corner of the stadium.

The newly established senior leadership awards are sponsored by the Chancellor''s Office and UMass Amherst Alumni Association. The awards are designed to recognize students who are academically accomplished and who have contributed to the University by exceptional achievements that distinguish themselves or enhance the reputation of the campus. The recipients are nominated by faculty for: strong leadership qualities; noteworthy original research; community service; the achievement of success by overcoming extraordinary personal circumstances; or public presentation through art, performance, or athletic ability.

The presentation of the senior awards during the undergraduate Commencement focuses the ceremony on the accomplishments of students and on the recognition of the support received from their families. "Commencement recognizes our students, celebrates their achievements, recognizes exemplary student performance, and honors outstanding alumni and friends of the University," said Lombardi. "It''s also an opportunity to congratulate students, families, and friends at the post-Commencement reception."

Other Commencement Activities

The University will hold a separate Commencement ceremony for approximately 1,200 master''s and doctoral degree candidates at 10:30 a.m. Sat. May 24, in the William D. Mullins Memorial Center. Ernesto Zedillo, president of Mexico from 1994-2000, now a member of the faculty at Yale University, will be awarded an honorary degree. James F. Walker Jr., interim dean of the Graduate School, will offer a welcome. Lombardi and Bulger will deliver brief remarks.

Also on May 24, approximately 110 candidates will receive associate of science degrees from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at a 2 p.m. ceremony in Bowker Auditorium. Keynote speaker is Kevin J. Hollister, a Stockbridge and University alumnus who has worked in the nursery and landscape field and is now pursuing a teaching career.

Additional events on Sat. May 24 include: Phi Beta Kappa Installation, Campus Center Auditorium, 2:30 p.m.; School of Nursing Pinning and Hooding Celebration, Fine Arts Center, 2 p.m.; Army/Air Force ROTC Joint Commissioning Ceremony, Bowker Auditorium, 5 p.m.; Isenberg School of Management Commencement Celebration, William D. Mullins Center, 5 p.m.; College of Engineering Commencement Celebration, Fine Arts Center, 7 p.m.

Following the University ceremony on Sun. May 25, the School of Education Undergraduate Commencement Celebration will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

Other Commencement-related events occurring prior to May 24-25 include the Commonwealth College Celebration of Excellence at 2 p.m. Sat. May 10, and the annual Commencement Ball at 7 p.m. Fri. May 23.

A full schedule of departmental events related to Commencement may be found in the Commencement Information Booklet at www.umass.edu/commencement/

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES OF HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS

Kathleen A. Cote has more than 25 years of experience in executive management and leadership roles in both emerging technology companies and large multi-national technology organizations. She is currently a managing partner of Boston Commerce Ventures, a business consulting and investment company that provides expertise in strategic, operational, and organizational assessment and development, as well as financial assistance and access to capital. Cote was formerly chief executive officer of Worldport Communications Company, a provider of managed Internet infrastructure services for global companies. She previously held executive positions with Seagrass Partners, Computervision Corp., and Prime Services. Additionally, she has served such organizations as the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Boston chapter of the Urban League, the Women''s Initiative for Technology Leadership, the Massachusetts Private Industry Council, and the Council for Women in High Technology. A 1997 recipient of the Chancellor''s Medal, Cote received a bachelor''s degree in history from UMass Amherst in 1971, and later earned an MBA from Babson College.

Steven M. Gluckstern is a founding managing director of Azimuth Alternative Asset Management, LLLP, a global alternative asset management company based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1998, he co-founded Capital Z Partners, and 10 years earlier, he was a founder of Centre Reinsurance, which was subsequently acquired by the Zurich Financial Group in 1993. Prior to entering the world of business, Gluckstern spent seven years as a teacher and school administrator. After he received his Ed.D. from the University in 1974, he founded the CHOICE program at Scarsdale Jr. High School, an alternative educational curriculum still in use today. He subsequently was a principal at the Community School in Tehran, Iran, and superintendent of schools in Telluride, Col.

In 2001, a $1.7 million gift from Gluckstern was used to help endow two professorships: the Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professorship in Education Policy and Reform, honoring Dwight Allen, former dean of the School of Education; and the Robert L. Gluckstern Distinguished Professorship of Physics, recognizing Gluckstern''s father, Robert, who was professor and head of the department of physics and provost at UMass Amherst during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to his doctorate from UMass Amherst, Gluckstern holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor''s degree from Amherst College.

Ernesto Zedillo was president of Mexico from 1994-2000. His previous positions in the national government of Mexico include Secretary of Education (1992-93), Secretary of the Budget and Economic Planning (1988-92), and Undersecretary of the Budget (1987-88). While serving in his education post, Zedillo was a strong supporter of the partnership between UMass Amherst and Mexico''s Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica to build the world''s largest radio telescope, a $90 million project that is nearing completion in Puebla, Mexico. From 1978-87, Zedillo held several positions at Mexico''s Central Bank. He has taught at numerous academic institutions and is currently director of Yale University''s Center for the Study of Globalization and professor of international economics and politics at Yale. Zedillo has received decorations from the governments of 32 countries, and several awards from professional and civic organizations. Zedillo received two master''s degrees and his Ph.D. from Yale, and a bachelor''s degree in economics from the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico.