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Undergraduate Commencement

Graduate Information | Parent/Visitor Information | Photos & Video | Commencement Speaker | President's Medal | Faculty Awards | Additional Information | Registrar's Office

The university will hold its undergraduate commencement ceremony on the main quadrangle at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

Graduate Information

The processional will begin promptly at 9:50 a.m. Graduates are asked to arrive no later than 9 a.m. and gather at the flagpoles at Highland Plaza on Highland Avenue. The video below contains additional information for graduates. (Click here (MS Word) to read a slide-by-slide transcript of the video.)

Parent/Visitor Information


Seating will open for guests at 8:30 a.m. Parents and visitors do not need tickets for commencement.

The ceremony will also be streamed on FATV.


All parking lots will be open for graduate and guest parking, except for the lots on Highland Avenue which will be closed to automobile traffic the day of commencement. There are also parking lots at McKay Campus School, lower North Street and the Wallace Civic Center, where shuttles will bring guests to and from the campus. The shuttle buses will be in operation from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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 Ambray Ernst 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 (PDF).

Photos and Video

Family and friends are encouraged to take photos and video prior to and after the ceremony. During the ceremony, access to the stage area for picture taking or videotaping by guests will be prohibited.

Graduation photography will be taken by Commencement Photos Inc. of Tewksbury.

FATV will produce DVDs and Blu-rays of the ceremony, which include both the undergraduate and graduate commencements. DVDs can be ordered for $16 and Blu-rays for $21, plus 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 (PDF)

Commencement Speaker

Barbara A. WilsonBarbara A. Wilson, a 1980 alumna of Fitchburg State, is the co-founder and president of Wilson Language Training, whose mission is to provide professional learning and ongoing support to literacy educators across the country. She has been dedicated to individuals with dyslexia for over 30 years since her work at the Massachusetts General Hospital Reading Disabilities Clinic where she taught adults with dyslexia how to read. She authored the Wilson Reading System—in use by more than 25,000 teachers across the nation—based on that work and reading research.

Wilson, who co-founded the company with her husband, Ed, oversees graduate courses and clinical practicums on teaching reading to students with a language-based learning disability, which lead to Wilson certification. This certification is an integral component for several university programs that are accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). She also provides a voice for students with dyslexia, with presentations—keynotes and workshops—at more than 300 national and international conferences.

She has also consulted on several research grants for older students, and was invited to the White House to speak to the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser on Education regarding the issue of literacy in America’s middle and high schools. Last summer, she testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in support of H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act which was signed into law this February.

Wilson also leads her company’s work with school districts on their Response to Intervention implementation and has authored two additional programs: Wilson Just Words for older students with a word-level deficit and Fundations for students learning to read in K-3. Wilson currently serves on several committees for the International Dyslexia Association and provides professional expertise and consultation to other organizations dedicated to reading and dyslexia.

Wilson was previously recognized by Fitchburg State with its Distinguished Alumna Award in 2009. She received her M.Ed. from Simmons College, Boston, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Becker College, Worcester.

President's Medal

Daniel M AsquinoDaniel M. Asquino, president of Mount Wachusett Community College, is the longest serving public higher education president in the state. He is retiring in January after a remarkable tenure at the Mount.

Since arriving at Mount Wachusett Community College in 1987, Asquino has focused his efforts on improving curriculum, community outreach and economic development. Under his leadership the College enrollment has grown to over 12,000 credit and non-credit students. Satellite campuses have been established at Devens, in Leominster and Fitchburg, and the number of academic programs has expanded to over 75 associate degree and certificate options.

During his tenure, Asquino has established the college as a state and national leader in the areas of workforce development and economic development; dual enrollment and K-12 partnerships; civic engagement; veteran services; and renewable energy.

Asquino began his career in public higher education in 1971 as Assistant to the President of the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges. He went on to serve as Assistant Dean of Administration at Bristol Community College, and Dean of Administration and Development at Cape Cod Community College before being appointed MWCC’s second president.

He is a charter member of the Massachusetts College Success Campaign, The Democracy Commitment and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. (ACUPCC).

He currently chairs the Massachusetts Community College Council’s Labor Relations Committee and Distance Education Committee. In addition, he is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Communications and Marketing. He has twice chaired the Massachusetts Committee of Community College Presidents and is a past chair of the College Board’s National Community College Advisory Panel. He is a member and past as two-term chair of the New England College Council, and a member of the Massachusetts Campus Compact Executive Board of Directors.

Locally, Asquino serves as an officer and past chair of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts Board of Directors, officer and past chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster and past chair of Greater Gardner and North Central Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce. He is a member and past chair of the Board of Trustees for Heywood Hospital, and the GFA Supervisory Board.

He is the recipient of many community and national awards, including the Community Leader Award from the UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital Foundation; the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Nashua Valley Council Boy Scouts of America; the Dr. Robert H. Goldman Community Service Award; the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and Community Service Awards; the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Award; the Governor’s Pride in Performance Award; Enterprise Bank’s Celebration of Excellence Community Service Award; and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Pacesetter Award.

Asquino holds a Ph.D. and M.P.A. in Public Administration and Political Science and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Southeastern Massachusetts University, now UMass Dartmouth. He has taught public administration at the high school and college levels, including at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels.

The father of four and grandfather of nine, he enjoys spending time with his family, numismatics, music, fitness and reading.

Faculty Awards

The Vincent J. Mara Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mel GovindanDr. Meledath Govindan, chair of the Biology and Chemistry Department, has taught at Fitchburg State University since 1996.

Govindan’s colleagues describe him as “a natural leader who draws on his extensive experience to move the department forward,” and “an active and engaged instructor committed to all levels of science education.” Govindan employs a wide variety of teaching techniques in order to convey the complexities of biology and chemistry, while remaining open to new strategies in order to ensure his students receive the best possible education.

His advisees describe him as dedicated to their success beyond the classroom, offering valuable insights into varied career paths, and a caring and supportive counselor and educator. Students say he will take whatever time is needed to make sure that even the most daunting concepts are understood by all.

They also hail Govindan as an efficient educator whose natural wisdom breeds a strong command of subject matter. They praise his ability to create a safe and rewarding laboratory environment where he imparts field techniques not often found inside textbooks. His refined lab process covers more ground without sacrificing the importance of the hands-on approach, an accomplishment that has increased the value of his student’s scientific education.

Govindan received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Georgia and his master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Kentucky. Areas of research include isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from soft corals, as well as a collaborative research initiative with the Biomaterials Science and Engineering Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding the chemistry of plant natural products.

He has been department chair for the Biology and Chemistry Department since 2014, where the management of faculty and staff was added to an ever-growing list of commitment and responsibility to our institution.

Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship

Eric BuddDr. Eric Budd, professor and chair of the Economics, History and Political Science Department, has taught at Fitchburg State University since 1994.

Budd’s research and scholarship explores large-scale questions about our planet, wondering why some nations are poorer than others, how globalization is changing the worldwide structure, and why problems like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem so intractable. Budd has searched for answers to these questions and many more through his well-received political science volumes Democratization, Development, and the Patrimonial State in the Age of Globalization, and Conflicted are the Peacemakers: Israeli and Palestinian Moderates and the Death of Oslo. In these works, Budd investigates variable social norms, examining societies that embrace shifting values and ones that refuse them. He presented a research paper on this topic at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association entitled “Changing Our Stories, Changing Our Politics: The Politics of Abortion and Same Sex Marriage in the US and Ireland,” and further explored areas of interest through a variety of book reviews and articles published in peer reviewed journals.

While Budd spends a lot of time looking at global issues, he is also focused on our local community in the university’s host community. In 2014, he served as co-evaluator for a Working Cities Grant from the Federal Reserve Bank to promote socio-economic development north of Main Street. His colleagues describe a dedication to issues both local and global that is matched only by a passion for teaching, where his knowledge is applied to courses exploring topics like third world politics, economics and society. He is also developing a course on political change in a changing world.

Budd received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and his master’s degree in political science from the same institution. He received his bachelor’s in politics from Brandeis University. He is the previous recipient of the Vincent J. Mara Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was awarded “Faculty of the Year” by the university’s Student Government Association during the 2003-2004 academic year.

In Budd’s own words, he transformed from someone who loved politics into someone who loved political science. To his colleagues and students, Budd’s years of social curiosity and extensive research have greatly benefitted all who have learned from him.

Additional Information

For more information on spring commencement, contact the Academic Affairs Office at Fitchburg State University, (978) 665-3168, or view the Registrar's site.