Actor and Marching Band Member will be Student Speaker at UMass Amherst Commencement May 24

AMHERST, Mass. - Matt Dunphy, of Cambridge, Mass., a dual-degree candidate majoring in theater and English, has been selected the student speaker for the 133rd Commencement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sun. May 25 at 10 a.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

"It''s really exciting to be selected student speaker," says Dunphy, who is a veteran at delivering Commencement speeches. He spoke at his eighth-grade graduation, and was also the speaker at his graduation from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in 1999. "My father encouraged me to apply to be this year''s student speaker. I thought my chances were pretty slim, with so many students in the class. So it was a real surprise when they called to let me know I was a finalist, and I''m thrilled to be selected."

Dunphy has been a clarinetist with the Minuteman Marching Band for four years. He was also manager for the band for one year, and personnel manager for two years. In addition, he served as manager of the Hoop Band for one year. In 2002, he was a member of the Chancellor''s Task Force on the Marching Band.

A Dean''s List student, Dunphy is a recipient of a Chancellor''s Talent Award for the Arts in Theater and serves the theater department as a peer advisor. He has appeared in several productions on the University''s theater department mainstage, including as Costard, in Love''s Labor''s Lost; as The Player, in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Harlequin in Love in Disguise. He was also Richard Greatham, in the Mount Holyoke College production of Hay Fever. Dunphy has also been a member of the production staff for other UMass Amherst theater department productions, and was a character performer at Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando, Fla.

Dunphy says the theme for his remarks will be that life progresses in stages, and "we''re all players in the world, beginning or ending the stages of our lives."

He says: "I''m really just interested in getting up and representing my class - saying something that''s not boring. My speech will be about how we''re all peers, moving on as a group."

Next fall, Dunphy will enroll at The Catholic University of America, in the master of fine arts in drama program, with a concentration in acting.

He is the son of Ralph E. and Janet M. Dunphy, of Cambridge.

Dunphy was chosen student speaker by a committee of faculty and students.