UMass Dartmouth celebrates 2018 commencement

May 13, 2018

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth awarded 2,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on May 12.

The university awarded more than 1,400 undergraduate, nearly 600 graduate and more than 40 doctorate degrees during the two ceremonies. The university’s commencement exercises were the first for new Chancellor Robert E. Johnson, who was appointed to the position last July.

“This is your time to seek out and build a better world that is grounded in civility, mutual respect, and humanity. Students, please understand you are part of something bigger than yourself. The world is counting on you,” Johnson said.

UMass President Marty Meehan told the Class of 2018 to “know that your UMass education has equipped you with the skills, both tangible and intangible, you will need to succeed and to have an impact on this world.”

At the morning graduate ceremony, commencement speaker Keith A. Hovan, President and CEO of Southcoast Health and Southcoast Hospitals Group, received the Chancellor’s Medal and addressed students.

“Opportunities to learn will present themselves throughout your career. They are a gift. Learn to recognize them and take advantage of them,” Hovan said.

The graduate student speaker was Chioma Judith Okafor, who graduated with an MBA. Okafor is an advocate for the global empowerment of women and humanitarian services, and was from Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria.

“Life can be like a contest; there will always be someone with bigger goals, more talent, more degrees, and more experience than you. But no one else can be you. There is only one you!” she told her classmates.

The afternoon undergraduate ceremony featured Senior Vice President of Marketing Operations in the Consumer Products Division for Hasbro, Bryony Bouyer.

Bouyer, a 1986 graduate of the university, received an honorary doctorate degree and delivered the commencement address.

"Harvest the energy that comes from fear to do more, to do better, take on that next mountain” and to believe that they “are the most powerful and influential generation ever.”

The undergraduate ceremony student speaker was political science student Andrew Tyrrell of Fall River. Tyrrell was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Torch.

“Care about yourself, care about others. Care, care, care. You’ll be surprised how the simple act of caring can brighten your life," Tyrrell said.