Commencements Set for Undergraduates, Graduates and Stockbridge School


UMass Amherst will award about 7,300 degrees at Undergraduate, Graduate and Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencements on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7.

Wayne Chang, who launched his career as a high-tech entrepreneur while a student at UMass Amherst, will be the featured speaker at McGuirk Alumni Stadium at the school’s Undergraduate Commencement, which begins at 4:30 p.m. on May 6. He will address about 5,500 students receiving bachelor’s degrees, as well as their family and friends.

During the ceremony, Chang will be awarded an honorary doctorate. Currently director of product strategy at Twitter, Chang joined the company after it acquired Crashlytics, a mobile crash-reporting service he co-founded in 2011, for a reported price of more than $100 million in 2013.

The university will also award an honorary doctorate to Sheila C. Bair, who chaired the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from June 2006 through July 2011, one of the nation’s most challenging economic periods. Her work at the FDIC brought her recognition by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people. Last year, she was appointed president of Washington College in Maryland.

Earlier in the day, The Graduate School Commencement is scheduled to award 1,737 degrees beginning at 9 a.m. at the Mullins Center.

The Stockbridge School of Agriculture will hold its Commencement for 49 graduating students on May 7 at 10 a.m. in Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall.

The student speaker at Friday’s Undergraduate Commencement will be Elkhansaa Elguenaoui of Medford, who majored in neuroscience and psychology with a minor in biology.

In addition, two graduating seniors will be recognized during the commencement ceremony for their leadership and executive ability as Jack Welch Scholars. They are:

  • Timothy Contois of Danvers, a dual degree recipient in computer science and mathematics.
  • Bianca Tamaskar of Westford, an operations and information management and computer science major.                                      

Also, 10 members of the graduating class will be honored as 21st Century Leaders at Undergraduate Commencement:

  • Jennifer Antocciof Westminster, a double major in public health and communication.
  • Sïonan Barrett, a journalism major from Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • Gregory Barysky, from Methuen, majored in psychology with a mathematics minor.
  • Samantha Giffen, a double major in public health and microbiology from Millstone Township, N.J.
  • Kevin Harrington, from Hyannis, a double major in astronomy and psychology and brain sciences with a minor in Afro-American studies.
  • Ritika Kumar, an economics major from Lowell.
  • Soun Heang Lee, a biochemistry and molecular biology major from Lynn.
  • Michael Nicholson, a political science and history major from Gardner.
  • Abdifatah Omar, a biology and psychology major from Auburn, Maine,
  • Matthew Sparks, a civil and environmental engineering major from Mililani, Hawaii,


To ensure that Undergraduate Commencement is a memorable and enjoyable experience for graduating students and for their guests, the campus will close for regular business operations at noon. All exterior doors will be locked at 1 p.m. Regular building access will resume on Monday, May 9.