Lt. Gov. Polito Addressed Graduates During Commencement
A new college degree brings new opportunities and benefits but also great responsibility – a responsibility to oneself and the community. That was the message Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito delivered to Becker College’s 389 graduates during the 230th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 5th at Worcester’s DCU Center.
“Now you have to think about what’s going to make you happy. What truly will provide the joy and happiness that is going to drive you out of bed every day with eagerness, energy and the adrenaline rush to push forward?” said Polito, the 2018 Commencement Speaker and one of four Honorary Degree recipients. “Be mindful of what makes you happy and make that the center of your compass.”
Polito also urged graduates to “be intentional” with their degrees, encouraging them to stay in Worcester and make an impact in the place that has “meant something very special to you over the past few years.”
“Think about how your degree can impact a community like this. Think about making the Commonwealth your permanent home, and if you are from here think about planting your roots even further,” she said. “We have a talent pipeline that is rich and robust.”
A lifelong Shrewsbury resident, Polito shared the story of her great-grandfather, Francesco Polito, a brick maker from Italy who arrived in the U.S. in 1909 determined to provide a better life for his family. She recounted how he started making concrete blocks by hand and, through hard work, saved enough money to buy his first piece of machinery. That helped propel his business into a thriving construction company, which the Polito family still operates. She reminded graduates to always strive for more and better while honoring the hard work and legacy of those who came before us.
Becker President Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D., also reminded students of the responsibility that comes with their degrees, not just to themselves but to society.
“As educated citizens, you are responsible for surveying the world around you and helping those who need it the most,” said Crimmin, Becker College’s first female president. “During your time at Becker, you have learned the Core Values. Do not leave these values behind. Let them become part of all that you do. They will not only make you a successful person; they will make you a good person.”
She called on the graduates to lead purposeful lives, seek continuous personal and professional growth, and “be creative, innovative thinkers.”
In addition to Polito, Honorary Degrees were also bestowed upon Sam Vaghar, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Millennium Campus Network; Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and CEO of the College for Social Innovation; and Dr. Gregory Pogue, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at The College of New Jersey. A 1970 Becker Junior College graduate, Dr. Pogue is the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Honorary Degree, a tradition started under President Crimmin.
Becker’s Commencement honored graduation candidates from the following undergraduate and graduate degree programs and the Accelerated Studies program:
Mental Health Counseling
Early Childhood and Youth Education
Interactive Media Design