2017 Honorary Degree Recipients

Becker College awards honorary doctoral degrees to individuals who merit our highest recognition by attaining achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction and demonstrating personal and professional qualities that are consistent with the mission and values of Becker College: outstanding humanitarian or public service in the global arena, in our nation, or in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; exceptional contributions to knowledge in the world of scholarship; creativity and innovation in any field that has enriched lives; and support of our College.

Cliff Rucker
President, NFS Leasing
Owner, Worcester Railers Hockey Club

Cliff Rucker is the founding president of NFS Leasing, an innovative and multidisciplinary equipment leasing firm. Rucker also founded NEXL, a provider of IT services. A long time entrepreneur and business owner, Rucker has brought a revitalized sense of entrepreneurialism and development to Worcester.

Most recently, Rucker has focused his entrepreneurial skills on transforming Worcester. He has brought professional hockey back to the city with the formation of the Worcester Railers Hockey Club. To support the team, Rucker is building a 100,000 sq. ft. facility that will house the Railers and local teams from all levels.

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Manuel A. Lopes
CEO and President
East Boston Neighborhood Health Clinic

Manuel A. Lopes is the president and CEO of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC), a position he has held since January 2014. Lopes began working at EBNHC as a researcher when he was 18 and held several positions there before becoming CEO. Along the way he has been recognized for his efforts, receiving the President’s Award from the Boston Chapter of NAACP in October 2015 for leadership in the healthcare industry and in the local community.

He is responsible for elevating EBNHC to be one of the most impactful health centers in the country by focusing on increasing coverage and services for all local residents. Under Lopes, the health center has been able to offer employment and training opportunities to residents of East Boston. His value to the community has been recognized by political leaders as well—Lopes served on the transition committees for both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Lopes serves on a number of boards and committees including: the Boston Public Health Commission, Northeastern University MBA Healthcare Advisory Board, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Executive Board, My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Committee, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. He received his master’s in business from Northeastern University.

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