Virtual commencement ceremonies go live this week

May 11, 2021
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Fitchburg State University will hold virtual celebrations of its 125th graduating class this week. Links to the events will be shared on the university's commencement page.

  • The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be shared at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13.
  • The Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will be published at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 15.

In addition to an address by Fitchburg State President Richard S. Lapidus, each ceremony will include remarks by student honorees. Graduate Student Leadership Award recipient Christopher S. Brooks will speak during the Graduate Ceremony, while Valedictorian Joseph Bourgeois will speak as part of the Undergraduate Ceremony.

Graduate Student Leadership Award

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Christopher S. Brooks

Christopher S. Brooks

Christopher Brooks was already an established professional when he decided to return to Fitchburg State to pursue another advanced degree.

Brooks briefly attended Fitchburg State after graduating from high school, but decided to pursue a different path by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He credits his military service for helping him grow as a person. After serving, he went to physician assistant school. Because he was taking his boards, he missed his undergraduate commencement in 2001.

His lengthy health care career has included service as a physician assistant in emergency room settings, as well as orthopedics, and currently in neurointerventional radiology, where he shares duties as a stroke coordinator in his current role.

Brooks was inspired to pursue a business degree by one of his patients, who described how it could broaden his professional horizons. He completes his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management tonight, for which he earned with a perfect grade point average.

He lives in Gardner with his wife and their 16-year-old daughter.


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Joseph A. Bourgeois

Joseph A. Bourgeois

Joseph Bourgeois distinguished himself as a driven student during his years at Fitchburg State, balancing the demands of working on- and off-campus with a commitment to excelling in the classroom.

Bourgeois came to Fitchburg State in the fall of 2017 to pursue a degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, as well as a degree in economics. In each of his eligible semesters he was named to the President’s List in recognition of his outstanding academic performance.

Bourgeois was also inducted into Sigma Beta Delta (the business honor society) in 2019, and this spring received the Alex Donker Award for Excellence in Economics and the Outstanding Senior in Accounting Award.

Beyond the classroom, Bourgeois was a valued member of the university’s Financial Services team, where he was a student worker since May 2019. In that role, he executed accounting functions as well as provided office support. In addition, he supported his fellow students as a tutor in his junior and senior years. Bourgeois also maintained an off-campus job as a tech sales associate.

With his degree now complete, Bourgeois is looking for a full-time position in accounting. He lives in Gardner.

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