Winter commencement to be held on Dec. 22

December 13, 2023
Male and female graduates smiling and celebrating at winter commencement

Fitchburg State University will hold the winter ceremony of its 127th commencement exercises at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 in the campus Athletics and Recreation Center, 130 North St.

University President Richard S. Lapidus will give the main commencement address at the ceremony, which will also include remarks by undergraduate valedictorian Dylan J. Dandy of Leominster and Graduate Student Leadership Award recipient Maryanne Fiorino of Danvers.

The university will confer more than 400 undergraduate and graduate degrees at the ceremony, which will also be livestreamed on FATV at Graduates and guests may find additional information about the ceremony at

Valedictorian Dylan Dandy

Portrait of Dylan Dandy Winter 2023 valedictorian
Dylan J. Dandy

Dylan Dandy has excelled academically since before his arrival at Fitchburg State University. As a student at the Sizer School in Fitchburg, Dandy was able to advance to his senior year straight from his sophomore studies because of the credits he had accumulated.

It was at Sizer where Dandy’s love of science was nurtured, and he continued to pursue that passion with a chemistry major at Fitchburg State. In his sophomore year, one of his professors encouraged him to consider a double major in mathematics. Dandy followed her advice, and today completes a degree fulfilling both requirements.

After interning with a local laboratory, Dandy was hired as a part-time employee and continued to balance his work and studies. 

Following his graduation, Dandy plans to go to graduate school with a goal of completing a PhD.

Graduate Student Leadership Award recipient Maryanne Fiorino

Portrait of Maryanne Fiorino
Maryanne Fiorino

Maryanne Fiorino has spent more than two decades in nursing, working in a variety of healthcare settings with a continuing commitment to patient-centered care.

She began her healthcare career in 1996 working in several Boston hospitals, specializing in critical care nursing where she worked with patients undergoing open heart surgeries, coronary bypass procedures, and neurological surgery. These experiences informed her appreciation of the crucial role nurses play in helping patients recover.

Her career evolved to include responsibilities as a nurse manager, overseeing operations across multiple hospitals. The work highlighted the importance of leadership and decision-making in healthcare management.

Fiorino balanced her graduate studies with her responsibilities as a single mother to two teenagers. Tonight she completes an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management, and a plan to continue embodying her focus on patient-centered care, and ensuring that every decision and action is rooted in compassion and the well-being of her patients.

Tagged As