Governor Charlie Baker, the 72nd governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will be the featured speaker at the Undergraduate Commencement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Friday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
The governor will address an anticipated crowd of about 20,000 family members, friends and other guests as approximately 5,500 undergraduates receive their bachelor’s degrees at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “We are honored that Governor Baker will deliver this year’s Commencement address. As a results-driven leader, he combines a concentration on thoughtful data analysis with an emphasis on building relationships that strengthen our Commonwealth. His support for UMass Amherst has provided our students the opportunity to flourish as they play an invaluable role in the state’s innovation economy. It’s no coincidence that under the governor’s leadership Massachusetts has achieved record employment, the highest percentage of citizens with health care and an outstanding education system. At the flagship campus, we are proud of playing a role in providing high-quality, affordable education for our citizens.”
About Governor Baker
Sworn in for a second term in January, Governor Baker is known for bipartisan leadership that is delivering results for Massachusetts’ residents and communities. The Baker-Polito administration has worked to ensure Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in education. Governor Baker has signed four budgets with historic investments in K-12 education, increasing local education aid by over $500 million. He has taken steps as well to make attending a public college or university in Massachusetts more affordable through programs like the Commonwealth Commitment and expanded community college funding.
Governor Baker also has used public-private partnerships to spur downtown and regional economic development, allowed small businesses to become more competitive through regulatory reform, and has delivered tax relief to more than 400,000 Massachusetts residents by doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit. These efforts have helped the Commonwealth create more than 200,000 jobs since 2015. And under his watch, the state’s structural budget deficit has been eliminated.
Additionally, the Baker-Polito administration has taken on several challenges, including development of national model programs to address the opioid and heroin epidemic, rising energy costs, a changing climate and public transit improvements.
Before being elected governor in 2014, Baker served as a cabinet secretary under former Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci. Baker helped lead efforts to reform and modernize state government, turn a billion-dollar deficit into a surplus, create one-half million jobs and enact key education reforms.
Baker also was the chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, turning the company around from the verge of bankruptcy and making it the nation’s highest ranked health care provider for member satisfaction and clinical effectiveness for six consecutive years.
Raised in Needham, Baker attended Massachusetts public schools and is a graduate of Harvard College. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he met his wife, Lauren. The Bakers reside in Swampscott and are the parents of three children, Charlie, A.J. and Caroline.