UMass Dartmouth Commencement 2017 honorees announced

NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg, Southern Poverty Law Center founder
Morris Dees, MacArthur Foundation Managing Director Cecilia Conrad to be awarded
honorary degrees.

Obama White House Chief Photographer and Dartmouth native Pete Souza, author and
LGBT activist Jennifer Finney Boylan to receive Chancellor’s Medals.

UMass Dartmouth announced today that National Public Radio Legal Affairs
Correspondent Nina Totenberg, Southern Poverty Law Center Founder and Chief Legal
Counsel Morris Dees, and MacArthur Foundation Managing Director Cecilia Conrad will
receive honorary degrees and address the Class of 2017 at the university’s 117th
Commencement exercises May 13-15.

Former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza, who grew up in Dartmouth,
and author and LGBT activist Jennifer Finney Boylan will receive the Chancellor’s
Medal in recognition of their exemplary service to society.

Nearly 2,400 members of the Class of 2017 will receive undergraduate, graduate and
law school diplomas during Commencement ceremonies.

The undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be held at the Xfinity Center in
Mansfield to accommodate the growing number of graduates and their families
attending the ceremonies. The School of Law ceremony will be held at the Main
Auditorium on the UMass Dartmouth campus.

The decision to move the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies was made in
consultation with student and faculty leadership as the ceremonies have outgrown the
4,000-seat on-campus amphitheater. Over the past few years, UMass Dartmouth has been
forced to limit the number of family members allowed to attend the ceremonies and
split up the colleges into smaller ceremonies. This meant many classmates were
unable to attend the same ceremony together. The move to the Xfinity Center will
also allow for much improved security, parking and traffic flow.