U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal to Deliver Commencement Address At Becker College

Published on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Springfield ) is scheduled to give the keynote address at Becker College’s 222nd commencement ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. For the first time, Becker College will hold commencement at the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester.

Becker College will honor Rep. Neal with an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters.  The college will also recognize Mary DeFeudis, Laura Andrassy ’69, and Barbara A. and Edward J. Wilson, for service to their communities and 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.

Rep. Neal represents the second district of Massachusetts. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Rep. Neal is the lead sponsor of legislation to prevent American companies from moving offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. He leads the effort to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). He has sponsored legislation that would increase the national savings rate by encouraging the use of individual retirement accounts, and has worked to make health care and tuition expenses tax deductible for middle class people.

Rep. Neal has been honored by the governments of Ireland, Israel and Italy. He has been recognized by many civic, charitable, educational and labor organizations. Mr. Neal began his public service career in 1973 and served as mayor of the City of Springfield from 1984 until 1989. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the American International College in Springfield and a master’s degree in public administration from the Barney School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Hartford.

As a representative of Leicester, Rep. Neal has supported Becker College’s efforts to bring national attention to historical resident Reverend Samuel May’s significant activity in the early abolitionist movement, and the Congressman has been a strong proponent for the designation of the Reverend Samuel May House as an official visitor center on the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Laura Andrassy helped found successful business brands such as Greg Norman Estates and Greg Norman Collection. She has been an active fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation. She is a director of the Andrassy Family Foundation. Most recently, she has devoted her time to Women for Women, an organization helping women in war torn countries. She has been recognized by the Melanoma Foundation and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities.

An active investor, philanthropist, and volunteer, Mary DeFeudis is a director of the Hanover Theatre and an owner and member of the Board of Directors of the Worcester Tornadoes. She focuses her philanthropic and volunteer energies on organizations which benefit children, cancer research, and revitalizing the Worcester community. Earlier this year, she was awarded a key to the city of Worcester.

Barbara A. and Edward J. Wilson are co-founders of Wilson Language Training®, headquartered in Oxford, Mass., which has taught hundreds of students with dyslexia to read and write. They published the Wilson Reading System®, and founded Wilson Language Training Corporation, training educators internationally. Mrs. Wilson is the author of two other multisensory structured language programs: Fundations® and Just Words®. Wilson programs are used in school districts throughout the United States. The company has developed a unique and active charitable culture among their 150 employees who support community health, veterans, environmental and other causes.

The Becker College Class of 2010 numbers 350. Graduates will receive bachelor degrees in the disciplines of graphic design, interior design, liberal arts, elementary education, psychology, elementary education, business administration, computer information systems, equine management, hospitality and tourism, financial accounting, interactive entertainment, management, marketing, sports management, criminal justice, legal studies, exercise science, equestrian facilities management and veterinary science and associate degrees in the disciplines of business, accounting, criminal justice, paralegal studies, early childhood education, nursing, animal care and veterinary technology.