Assumption awards 720 degrees and certificates at 93rd Commencement May 15

Invoking an ancient Roman virtue, commencement speaker Richard E. Lamoureux, A.A., superior general of the Augustinians of the Assumption, called upon Assumption College graduates to “manifest pietas, a particular combination of respect and love, toward parents, toward country and toward all to whom you owe a debt of gratitude…they have been for you a source of life and well-being... and have shaped the way you think and made you who you are today. What will you do now to ensure that others enjoy these same benefits?”

Assumption College held its 93rd Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 15, on campus. Reverend Lamoureux, A.A., who has led the Assumptionists for more than a decade, delivered the Commencement address and received an Assumption College President’s Medal on behalf of the Assumptionists, the international religious order of priests and brothers that founded Assumption College in 1904 and sponsors it today. The Assumptionists are commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of the order’s founder, Rev. Emmanuel d’Alzon, A.A., this year.

Assumption awarded the following degrees and certificates during its 2010 Commencement Exercises: Bachelor of Arts (538); Graduate Studies degrees and certificates (145); Continuing and Career Education (37).

Commencement speaker, Rev. Richard Lamoureux, A.A., a Worcester native, attended the former Assumption Preparatory School and Assumption College. He entered the Assumptionist novitiate in New York and was ordained in 1971. Fr. Lamoureux earned a master’s degree in divinity from the Weston School of Theology, a master’s degree in art history from Boston University and a doctorate in art history from New York University. He joined the Assumption art faculty in 1976. After leaving the College to lead the Assumptionists’ North American Province during the 1980s, he returned as provost in 1990. In 1999, he was appointed to his first six-year term as Superior General of the Assumptionists, only the second American to hold that position. Fr. Lamoureux, who is based in Rome, is fluent in four languages and conversant in several others.

Honorary Degree recipients included:

Francis R. Carroll - Honorary Degree - Doctor of Public Service
Francis R. Carroll of Worcester is chairman and chief executive officer of the Small Business Service Bureau, which he founded in 1968. Carroll, a Korean War veteran who served in the United States Navy, is known as a tireless advocate for small business. He brings a strong voice and an informed perspective on important small business issues, particularly health coverage, to the attention of elected officials. The Small Business Service Bureau in Worcester, an affiliate of Carroll Enterprises, Inc., has grown from a private small business association to include more than 50,000 members.

Carroll has been recognized many times for his charitable and volunteer work over the decades on behalf of organizations within and beyond greater Worcester. The area located between his office and the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts was designated as Francis R. Carroll Plaza in recognition of the office space he donated when the theater renovation project was under development. Carroll invested more than three decades in helping to build a hospital in Vietnam in memory of fallen American soldiers. Closer to home, he was instrumental in getting Worcester’s Korean War Veterans Memorial built, received the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s 2004 Isaiah Thomas Award. More recently, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Empowerment Center in Worcester established the Francis R. Carroll Guiding Light Award to honor his enduring efforts on behalf of small business and the community, in particular his support for inclusiveness and the development of small business.

Donald H. D’Amour, Ph.D. – Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters
Michele D’Amour, M.Ed. – Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters
Donald D’Amour ’64 and Michele D’Amour also will receive honorary degrees. Don, chairman and CEO of Big Y Foods, Inc., leads one of the largest independent supermarket chains in New England. Big Y Foods, headquartered in Springfield (MA), operates at 56 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, and employs more than 9,000 people. Each year Big Y awards more than 300 academic scholarships, totaling more than $250,000. Don graduated from Assumption Prep and Assumption College, where he served as a trustee from 1991-1999. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.

Michele D’Amour is Big Y’s educational partnership administrator. She oversees a variety of initiatives in support of students, schools and learning. Big Y’s Education Express program has awarded more than $11 million worth of needed equipment to 2,000 schools in its market area. Big Y’s Homework Helpline helps more than 10,000 children each year. She was a founding member of the Somers (CT) Cultural Commission and is a corporator of the Springfield Museums. She graduated from Westfield State College and earned a master’s degree in education at American International College.

In 2007, the D’Amours gave an extraordinary gift of $4.2 million to Assumption. That gift has established the Donald and Michele D’Amour Chair in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; endowed an annual lecture in the Catholic Intellectual Life; increased the endowment they had established for the Fortin and Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization Program, and established a new faculty development grant fund.

Valedictorian Sarah Ambacher exhorted her classmates to foster civil discourse and respect for opposing points of view. “…we live in a democratic society which requires mutual compromises that benefit society as a whole. Diversity in viewpoints is a positive virtue, yet the resolution of society’s problems requires working together. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.’”

Ambacher, who is from Blackstone, majored in accounting major with a minor in theology. In addition to high academic achievement, which includes earning Dean's List honors every semester, she was active in the campus and Worcester communities. In the fall, she will begin her accounting career with Grant Thornton, a public accounting firm in Boston.

Salutatorian Leslie Lupien, who is from Pomfret Center (CT), introduced the Commencement speaker. She majored in biology with a minor in sociology. A four-year member of both the Assumption College Women’s basketball team and the College’s Honors Program, Lupien raised money for research into the causes and prevention of cancer and muscular dystrophy. She also supported the Massachusetts Special Olympics. Lupien looks forward to a career in science and medical research.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews