Gov. Deval Patrick Will Address Becker Commencement

Published on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Deval Patrick is scheduled to give the keynote address at Becker College’s 223rd commencement ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester.

Becker College will bestow upon Gov. Patrick and Frederick H. Eppinger, president and CEO of The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters.  The college recognizes both leaders for their exemplary contributions to the community and economy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and for support of Becker College’s mission to offer a diverse student population access to a first-class, student-centered, private college education and to prepare students to be tomorrow‘s leaders and responsible citizens in a global economy.

“Governor Patrick and Mr. Eppinger have tremendous drive and commitment to excel and to lead. From humble beginnings, their achievements stand as worthy examples of what we strive for and what we expect of our graduates at Becker College,” said President Robert E. Johnson.

Deval Patrick was reelected to a second term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in November 2010. Governor Patrick’s life has charted a path from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House.

First elected in 2006, Governor Patrick funded public education at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth and its school reform initiatives earned Massachusetts the top spot in the national Race to the Top competition. Through targeted initiatives focused on the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, like his landmark 10-year, $1 billion program to promote the state’s life sciences industry, the Governor has positioned the state as a global leader in biotech, bio pharmaceuticals and IT.

Patrick came to Massachusetts in 1970 at the age of 14.  A motivated student despite the difficult circumstances, he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization. Governor Patrick is a graduate of Harvard College, the first in his family to attend college, and of Harvard Law School.  After clerking for a federal judge, he led a successful career in the private sector as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive positions at Texaco and Coca-Cola.  In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation’s top civil rights post.

Eppinger has been a director, president and the chief executive officer of The Hanover since 2003. A native of Spencer, Mass., Eppinger helmed a significant turnaround for Hanover and has since increased returns, added more than 1,000 new jobs and landed the insurer on the Globe 100 for 2010, The Boston Globe’s list of 100 top businesses in Massachusetts. Changing the landscape of Worcester under Eppinger’s leadership, the company has purchased a portion of CitySquare, made named investments in the Hanover Theatre and Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field (home of the Worcester Tornadoes), as well as extensive contributions to  education, youth and other community causes.

The Becker College Class of 2011 numbers 325. This is the first class to graduate since Dr. Johnson assumed the role of president at Becker, in July 2010. Johnson’s formal inauguration will be held September 16, 2011.

Graduates will receive bachelor degrees in the disciplines of graphic design, interior design, computer game design, computer game development and programming, liberal arts, elementary education, psychology, business administration, computer information systems, equine management, hospitality and tourism, financial accounting, management, sports management, criminal justice, policing, forensics, legal studies, exercise science, equine studies, nursing and veterinary science; and associate degrees in the disciplines of early childhood education, nursing, animal care and veterinary technology.