AMHERST, Mass. –The Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its Commencement ceremony this afternoon in the William D. Mullins Memorial Center. Degrees were conferred on approximately 1,000 master’s and doctoral candidates. More than 900 of those eligible to receive degrees attended the ceremony, accepting their diplomas to the cheers of about 3,000 family members and friends.
John Mullin, dean of the Graduate School, congratulated the degree recipients for their hard work and diligence in completing their advanced studies. He told the assembled family and guests, “With you, we are here to celebrate, to honor them and share their accolades.”
Mullin also said this is the first year UMass Amherst has award doctoral degrees in nursing, and that seven candidates had earned the degree.
Chancellor Robert C. Holub briefly addressed the candidates. He told the graduates he was pleased to see so many of them in attendance. He said that although he had earned three advanced academic degrees in his career, he had not attended any of those degree granting ceremonies. Still, he said, “I know from experience that completing a graduate degree is a tremendous accomplishment, and that the path to the master’s or doctorate is a difficult one.”
He went on to say, “Today, you can count yourselves among the educated men and women in our society.” He told the graduates that becoming educated can mean many things. He quoted from Albert Einstein who defined education this way: “The value of an education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”
Holub also told the graduates they can now continue with their careers, but will also have some obligations to fulfill. “You are destined to be the leaders of the world, the country and the Commonwealth,” he said.
Distinguished professors and the recipients of the Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowships, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards and the Armstrong Professional Development Professorship were also recognized during the ceremony.