Craig C. Mello and Sumner B. Tilton Jr. on Becker Commencement 2008 program

Published on Monday, March 10th, 2008

Nobel Laureate Craig C. Mello, PhD is scheduled to give the keynote address at Becker College’s 220th commencement ceremony, to be held on May 10, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the DCU Center, downtown Worcester.

Sumner B. Tilton, Jr., director of Fletcher, Tilton, & Whipple, P.C. will be honored at the ceremony, along with Dr. Mello, with an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters. 

Dr. Mello, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, Mass. discovered a fascination with science and human origins on fossil digs with his father, a paleontologist with the Smithsonian Institute; later, his interests turned to genetic engineering.

Dr. Mello and his colleague, Andrew Fire, PhD, of Stanford University, received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Mello was also named the inaugural recipient of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research by Johnson & Johnson in 2006, and he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Mello earned a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Brown University and a doctorate in cellular and developmental biology from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a 1995 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Well known for his community service throughout Worcester, as trustee, director and volunteer, Tilton recently joined the august ranks of recipients of the Isaiah Thomas Award. He has been instrumental in establishing Choose Worcester, Inc., a public-private partnership created to encourage new business growth in the city. He has been recognized with such honors as the Massachusetts Bar Association Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Empowerment Center Community Service Award. Tilton earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a juris doctor from Boston University School of Law.

More than 240 students will cross the stage, receiving bachelor degrees in the disciplines of graphic design, interior design, liberal arts, elementary education, psychology, early childhood education, business administration, computer information systems, financial accounting, management, marketing, sports management, criminal justice, legal studies, biology, exercise science, kinesiology and veterinary science, and associate degrees in the disciplines of liberal arts, liberal studies, liberal studies, business administration, paralegal studies, early childhood education, nursing, animal care and veterinary technology.