Len Gengel to Deliver Keynote Address at 226th Becker College Commencement

Published on Friday, March 21st, 2014

Len Gengel will deliver the keynote address at Becker College’s 226th commencement ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester.

Becker College will bestow upon Len Gengel the honorary degree of doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, for his extraordinary commitment to socially responsible entrepreneurship and affecting global change with the founding of the Be Like Brit Orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti.

Gengel started C&S Builders (an acronym for College Student) in 1982, while he was a student himself, and has built more than 300 homes and developed 10 neighborhoods in Central Massachusetts. In 1995, Gengel received the Homebuilder of the Year Award in Massachusetts; he was one of the youngest recipients to be recognized in the 60-year history of the award. Gengel and his company were also recognized in Recognition, Gratitude, and Celebration, a book by Patrick L. Townsend and Joan E. Gebhardt, published in 2007. The book’s section, “A Quality Builder,” details Gengel’s people-focused Total Quality Management practices and “Constant and Never-Ending Improvement” philosophy at C&S.

Becker College presented Gengel with its first Gabe Simon Award for distinguished service at the October 2010 Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony. He has supported his alma mater as a trustee, philanthropist, and mentor to young alumni. As a student-athlete, Gengel was a standout first baseman and catcher for the Becker baseball team.

After running his building company for 30 years, Gengel retired to focus on founding and constructing the 19,000-square-foot Be Like Brit orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti. Gengel and his wife, Cherylann, dedicated themselves to building the orphanage to honor the last wish of their daughter, Britney, who died in the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. Be Like Brit’s mission is to establish a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage in an environment where children can grow, learn and thrive and to raise them as the next generation of Haiti’s leaders.

At the Commencement ceremony, Becker will also bestow honorary degrees to Cherylann Gengel and to Dr. Sheila Harrity, principal of Worcester Technical High School, for their achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction and for demonstrating personal and professional qualities that are consistent with the mission and values of Becker College.