President Robert V. Antonucci will be the commencement speaker.
The processional will begin promptly at 6:20 p.m. Graduates are asked to arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. Volunteers will assist the graduates in lining up; each graduate will be given an index card with their name on it. Please give this card to the volunteers on the platform when you approach the stage.
A hooding will be part of the graduate ceremony, so please arrive in your cap and gown, carrying your hood over your right arm.
For more information, please read the commencement brochure.
Doors will open for guests at 4:30 p.m. Parents and visitors do not need tickets for commencement.
Details are available in the commencement brochure.
Guests may park in all parking lots for commencement. For directions and maps, visit the Campus Website.
Accommodations for Persons With Disabilities
Fitchburg State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and medical conditions. To request accommodations, please contact Cristy Guy in the Disabilities Services Office at (978) 665-4020 (Voice/Relay) or by email. A form to request services is available through the commencement brochure.
Family and friends are encouraged to take photos and video prior to and after the ceremony.
Graduation photography will be taken by Commencement Photos Inc. of Tewksbury.
FATV will produce DVDs of the ceremony, which include both the undergraduate and graduate commencements. DVDs can be ordered for $15, which includes the cost of shipping. Proceeds will go to the Bob Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund. To order, contact FATV at (978) 343-0834. A form is also available through the commencement brochure.
For more information on spring commencement, contact the Academic Affairs Office at Fitchburg State University, (978) 665-3168, or view the Registrar's site.
Contributions to the Graduate Program Award
Richard J. Spencer, Ph.D., began a long and illustrious career with Fitchburg State University in 1972, when he was appointed assistant professor in the Behavioral Sciences Department. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor and to the graduate faculty in 1976. Spencer was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1987.
Spencer’s awards and honors between 1977 and 2008 included three merit awards, two distinguished service awards, two academic performance awards, an outstanding post-tenure review, and appointment to emeritus professor status.
From 1992 to 2000, Spencer was chair of the Master of Science in Counseling program, and after a semester-long sabbatical he resumed that role until 2003. He served as a graduate counseling program representative to the Teacher Education Council and the Education Unit Committee. Spencer played a critical role in preparing reports for the accreditation of the graduate counseling program, served twice on the university’s National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education steering committee, and put his experience to further use as chairman of the education unit’s assessment committee in 2005. Through his leadership the unit developed a comprehensive, detailed, organized and statistically strong system that remains in use. He chaired that committee until his retirement in 2008.
Spencer remains an adjunct faculty member, teaching in the graduate counseling program. He was instrumental in the creation of the counseling/psychology concentration of the certificate for advanced graduate study in interdisciplinary studies and served as its program chair from 2007 to 2012. He served on the university’s Graduate Council for many years, including a stint as chairman. He was the administrator of graduate testing from 1972 to 2009.
He is the longest serving member of the Behavioral Science Department’s committee on graduate programs, where he helped to bring clarity of detail to discussions and worked collaboratively with other members of the department to advocate for the program’s students. He is respected by students and colleagues alike for excellence and dedication to the institution and its graduate programs.
Spencer received a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed an an associate’s degree from Auburn Community College and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Alfred University. The following year he earned a Master of Arts in Psychology, also from Alfred University. He also earned a specialized degree as Minister of Christian Education from the Berean School of the Bible and was licensed as a psychologist.
Graduate Student Leadership Award
Lauren E. Viola has taken the lessons from her graduate studies at Fitchburg State University back into her classroom at Leominster High School.
For a research course at the university, Viola worked with her peers to design a professional development program for the school. “A Professional Development Day for and by Teachers” is now an annual event and continues to be successful in bridging the gap between best practices and classroom applications. Ongoing research demonstrates its effectiveness in improving teaching and learning at Leominster High School, where one teacher called it “the most beneficial (professional development) in 25 years of teaching.”
A teacher since 2005, Viola re-launched the Leominster High School Math Team and continues to mentor it. In addition to her efforts with the Math Team, she was a class advisor for four years. Currently, she serves as an advisor to SkillsUSA, a group of trade students, which she has been a part of for five years. She has been her school’s best practice professional development coordinator for two years and was voted academic teacher of the year by her colleagues at the high school’s Center for Technical Education Innovation. She was also recently elected as a Lead Academic Cluster Teacher for the Center for Technical Education Innovation. Viola was elected to a two-year position that will continue until the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
Viola created a teacher’s section at her high school library for educators to share professional literature, and helped research and create a study skills course for incoming high school freshmen which she hopes to teach in the fall.
One of her professors at Fitchburg State described her as representing what the graduate program most desires in its degree candidates: enthusiastic, engaged educators whose university experience enhances their own classrooms.