Framingham State Celebrates Commencement

Framingham State Celebrates Commencement

May 23, 2016

More than 950 highly skilled graduates are ready to make their mark on the world following an inspiring commencement ceremony on the Framingham Town Green on May 22nd.

“You have all taken a critical step on your journey to a successful career,” FSU President F. Javier Cevallos told the graduates. “Completing a four-year degree is no easy task, but has become essential to landing a good job in the Commonwealth’s high-tech economy.”

Chris Herren, founder of the Herren Project and a former Boston Celtics player from Fall River who lost his career to drug addiction, served as the undergraduate commencement speaker. He told the students that success is fleeting and requires a continued commitment to being a better person.

“Challenge yourself daily to be better than the day before,” said Herren, who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony.

Herren said his addiction to drugs and alcohol became more powerful than his dream to play in the NBA. It took him 14 years before he could overcome his addiction and become the man his is today.

“Never give up on your dreams,” Herren said. “I challenge you to look within and reflect on the graduate you have become and what it will take to be the post-graduate you want to be."

Following his speech, Senior Class President Caitlin Murray presented Herren with a check for $2,000 for the Herren Project on behalf of the Class of 2016.

Later in the ceremony, the University honored alum Kevin Gosnell ‘91 with the President’s Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the President’s Office. Gosnell was diagnosed with ALS last May, and since that time has formed two groups to help in the fight against the disease. ALS Knights is a fundraising group that raised more than $650,000 during its first 90 days. ALS One is an organization that brings together the previously fractured group of Massachusetts researchers who are working on finding a treatment for ALS.

“The amount Kevin Gosnell has accomplished in the fight against ASL over the past year is truly inspirational,” President Cevallos said.

The graduate commencement ceremony was held earlier in the morning. Michael Powers ’87, one of the founding YouTube team members and a senior vice president at CBS games, gave the graduate commencement address, telling the students that there are often many bumps along the road to success. He said when he began his career in Silicon Valley, he lost all his savings to his own unsuccessful start-ups while also passing up on opportunities to join new start-ups that would go on to become Netscape and E-Bay.

“Most people fail many times before stumbling into a winning company,” Powers said. “By earning a graduate degree, you have shown that you are willing to take a risk to gain a better future.”

Powers received an honorary doctor of science degree during the ceremony. The University presented its Citizen Laureate Award to State Representative Chris Walsh for his continued support of FSU and public higher education.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.