May 13, 2022
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences held its Senior Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022 in the Mullins Center on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. The SPHHS ceremony recognized its undergraduate Class of 2022, which this year welcomed nearly 600 graduating seniors into its ranks.
Dean Anna Maria Siega-Riz welcomed a large crowd of family, friends, and guests who were gathered to celebrate the new graduates. She encouraged students to keep working hard and make a difference in the world around you and to remember “what we have trained you to be: game-changers and innovators, leaders and researchers, community members and global citizens.”
Siega-Riz also introduced a pre-recorded speech from guest speaker and kinesiology alumnus Efosa Guobadia ’07, the co-founder, president and CEO of the non-profit organization Move Together. He encouraged students to “remember the definition of the word commencement. It doesn’t mean the end of something. It means the beginning of. So it begins. The adventure. I encourage you to consider what Machado says, ‘Pathmaker there is no path, you make the path by walking it.’”
In addition to the dean, the ceremony featured remarks from Laura Vandenberg, associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs; Gwyneth Rost, undergraduate program director for the Department of Communication Disorders; Richard van Emmerik, chair of the Department of Kinesiology; Lindiwe Sibeko, chair of the Department of Nutrition; and Gloria DiFulvio, undergraduate program director for the Public Health Sciences major. A full replay is available on the SPHHS commencement webpage or further below.
Later that afternoon, the university held its Undergraduate Commencement at McGuirk Stadium under bright sunshine and warm temperatures. U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern delivered the keynote commencement address as approximately 20,000 family members, friends and other guests cheered for a graduating class of about 7,000. Public Health Sciences major Obinnaya Okereke, a 21st Century Leader Award recipient, was among the students honored during the event.
Earlier that morning, the UMass Amherst Graduate School conferred 2180 advanced degrees during its Graduate Commencement, also held at McGuirk Stadium. The Class of 2020, which was unable to hold a commencement ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, joined the Class of 2022 at the celebration.
Watch the SPHHS Senior Recognition Ceremony video replay below: