Patrick to Give Commencement Address at UMass Boston

Deval Patrick rocks the Bay State. Photo by Glenn Parker

Deval Patrick rocks the Bay State. Photo by Glenn Parker

Taylor Fife

Governor Deval Patrick, who has been a frequent visitor of the UMass Boston campus during his governorship and during his campaign, will provide the principle address to 2007 graduates of UMass Boston.

On June 1, approximately 2,800 UMass Boston students will be given the opportunity to receive their degrees in a ceremony that will feature the owner of the New England Patriots, the CEO of one of the world’s foremost biotechnology companies, and the founder and president of a group promoting peace and safety in urban areas.

Patrick will also be receiving the Chancellor’s Medal, an award given to him for his work and leadership in government, business and the non-profit sector.

“We are pleased to welcome Governor Patrick back to our campus for our 39th commencement ceremonies, where his presence will serve as a fitting honor for our new graduates,” Chancellor Collins said in a press release. “UMass Boston is further distinguished by the participation of Tina Chery, Robert Kraft and Henri Termeer, all accomplished leaders who work daily to improve life in the Commonwealth and around the world.”

After graduating form Harvard Law, Patrick began work as a clerk for a judge of the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit, and then became an attorney for the NAACP. While working for the NAACP he met Bill Clinton, who appointed Patrick as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, after a brief stint as a partner in a private law firm.

On November 7, 2006 Patrick made history by being the first African American elected governor of Massachusetts, and the second African American ever elected as governor of any state.

Patrick has worked hard promoting racial equality and civil rights while serving in government, as well in the private sector.

Although Patrick won election by a wide margin and ran a fresh grassroots campaign, he has received much criticism in his first months in office for being ineffective and unable to implement his vision.

Patrick is currently locked into battles with both the state legislature and public opinion as he struggles to keep the budget balanced and provide services to the state.

Patrick’s wife, Dianne, was scheduled to give a commencement address at Urban College of Boston, but recently announced that she will not be able to give that address.

In addition to Patrick, Tina Chery, founder of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, will also be receiving the Chancellor’s Medal. Chery founded the institute after her son Louis fell victim to gang violence.

Robert Craft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Henri Termeer, president and CEO of Cambridge-based Genzyme Corporation will be receiving honorary degrees.