Governor Charlie Baker to be Featured Speaker at UMass Amherst Commencement on May 10

5,500 graduates in the Class of 2019 will receive degrees at McGuirk Alumni Stadium
Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will address the UMass Amherst Class of 2019 and their guests at Commencement on May 10.
UMass Amherst Commencement
Graduation for the UMass Amherst Class of 2019 will take place on May 10, 2019 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

AMHERST, Mass. – 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.

About UMass Amherst Commencement

The graduation ceremony for the undergraduate Cass of 2019 is the 149th UMass Amherst Commencement. Approximately 5,500 graduates are expected to receive degrees at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the UMass Amherst campus. The ceremony will be held rain or shine beginning at 4:30 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude at approximately 6:30 p.m.  The ceremony is free and tickets are not required. Stadium gates open at 2 p.m. Guests should plan to arrive on campus by that time and will be directed to free campus parking and to shuttle buses that will take them from parking lots to the ceremony.  Services are available for guests with limited mobility and other disabilities. Details are available on the Accessibility page of the Commencement website

Contact: Ed Blaguszewski, 413-545-0444, edblag@umass.edu

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