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Commencement Speakers Announced

Three public leaders to speak at 178th exercises

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Three public leaders will deliver words of wisdom to Bridgewater State University graduates this spring.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey and Marylou Sudders, the secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, will deliver addresses during BSU’s 178th commencement exercises.

Walsh, who is Boston’s 54th mayor, will speak at the May 18 morning undergraduate ceremony for the Louis M. Ricciardi College of Business, the College of Education and Allied Studies and the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics. 

“Mayor Walsh’s agenda has focused on strengthening Boston public schools by expanding pre-kindergarten and extended learning time,” President Frederick W. Clark Jr., ’83, said. “He has been a vigorous champion of social justice, creating innovative programs aimed at ending veteran and chronic homelessness and closing racial achievement gaps.  He has led Boston to the forefront of the global innovation economy, helping attract industry-leading companies. Mayor Walsh has been a leader on issues such as climate change and building the sustainability and resiliency of urban areas.  As mayor, he has vaulted Boston into a position of global leadership in addressing long-range issues challenging the livability and very survival of our cities.”

Markey, who has served in the U.S. Congress for more than 40 years, will speak at the May 18 afternoon undergraduate ceremony for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

“He is a national leader and author of some of the most important laws in the areas of energy, the environment and telecommunications policy,” Clark said. “He has been a powerful and effective voice for transitioning our economy to clean and sustainable energy resources and mitigating the consequences of climate change; bolstering U.S. and global security by staunching nuclear proliferation; enacting financial reforms to protect consumers and investors against the types of abuses that directly triggered the global recession; ensuring the continued openness of the internet; and advancing the interests of consumers by injecting competition into electric, telecommunications and telephone markets, and protecting the privacy of personal information.”

On May 16, Sudders will speak at the graduate ceremony. Sudders oversees the largest executive agency in state government, managing a $23 billion budget, 12 state agencies and the Mass Health (Medicaid) insurance program that provides health coverage to nearly 1.9 million low income or disabled residents. 

“She has championed health care access, including significant legislative reforms involving insurance parity, fundamental patient rights and children’s mental health,” Clark said. “Her extraordinary work in addressing the state’s opioid epidemic has positioned Massachusetts as a national leader in addressing this scourge and ensuring residents receive the care and treatment they need.”

The speakers will receive honorary degrees from BSU.  The university will also present the Distinguished Service Award on May 18 to Dr. Lisa Battaglino, dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies, and Marquis Taylor, founder and CEO of Coaching4Change. 

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