61 William Street
Worcester, MA 01609
This is an exciting time at Becker College. We just celebrated our 229th Commencement where we awarded 464 students with degrees, including our first masters in arts in mental health counseling—a huge milestone in the College’s history. We awarded two honorary degrees—Doctorates of Humane Letters—one to Clifford L. Rucker, president of NFS Leasing and owner of the Worcester Railers Hockey Club; and one to Manual A. Lopes, president and CEO of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Both extremely accomplished men shared their personal, and moving, stories with our students and their families.
As the keynote speaker at Commencement, Mr. Rucker shared how he was raised by a single mother who battled mental illness, yet always found a way to show how much her family meant to her. He told of making extra money by helping grocery store customers carry their bags to their cars, and how one customer’s generous tip made him realize the benefit of helping others. This small enterprise, born out of necessity for his basic survival, aided him in defining his goals and shaped his commitment to philanthropy.
Mr. Lopes, the keynote at Honors Convocation held the day before, also spoke of being raised by a single mother—an immigrant who raised her siblings before having her own children. When Mr. Lopes and his sister realized that their mother was struggling to prepare for the citizenship exam because of her lack of education, they pulled together as a family and tutored their mom every day after school. Lopes’ humble beginnings drove his ambition and his passion for helping others in his community.
Emotions always run high at Commencement as it signifies a parting of the ways. This year, that bittersweet feeling of elation mixed with sadness was accentuated by our farewell to Dr. Robert E. Johnson, Becker College’s tenth president, who ended his seven years with us to begin his next chapter as the chancellor of UMass Dartmouth in July.
While we will miss Dr. Johnson and this year’s graduates, we are eager to hear about their new endeavors and we are ready to tackle our own. Personally, I am proud and excited to be assuming the role of interim president and am confident that with our stellar faculty and amazing staff Becker College will continue to offer its students a premier education anchored in our mission, core values, and the Agile Mindset. It’s a great time to be at Becker College as we prepare to welcome the incoming class of 2021 who will be on campus soon for orientation. Truly, the future at Becker is bright!
Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.
Interim President, Becker College