Richard DesLauriers ’82 Delivers Keynote Address to 605 Graduates at Assumption's 96th Commencement
“The liberal arts education I received at Assumption prepared me very well for a career as an FBI agent,” said DesLauriers. He identified specific skills – thinking logically and in a reasoned, analytical manner; writing; and possessing a moral compass – that have proven vital to his success. “In the FBI, [thinking logically and in a reasoned, analytical manner] has allowed me to form well-founded conclusions culled from the analysis of complex fact patterns, so that the FBI agents under my command can undertake the most effective investigative actions possible to mitigate the numerous national security and criminal threats faced by our nation on a daily basis here in the post-9/11 world.”
Assumption College’s 96th Commencement ceremony was held on the campus’s H.L. Rocheleau Field, where 402 Bachelor of Arts degrees; 161 graduate studies degrees (Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration) and certificates; and 42 Continuing and Career Education degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and associates) were awarded. Thousands of students, their families and friends, trustees, and other special guests were on hand to experience the inspirational messages delivered by keynote speaker DesLauriers, Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo, and valedictorian Hannah Lee-Hilsman of North Attleboro, Mass.
“As you prepare to go forth from Assumption, where your education has fostered a nobility of character, a mind open to infinite beauty, and a heart that banishes selfishness, I congratulate you on all that you have accomplished,” President Cesareo said in his remarks, “and I challenge you to take what you have learned to lead a life beyond the self by contributing your time and talent in service to the community so as to create a better world for future generations.”
DesLauriers, who joined the FBI in 1987, leads more than 500 FBI agents, intelligence analysts and professional support personnel responsible for the investigation of terrorism, espionage and criminal matters in New England. In the wake of the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings, he is running the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into the attacks. In March 2013, DesLauriers reported that the FBI had identified the likely suspects in the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. In 2011, he announced the arrest of one of the most wanted fugitives in U.S. history, James “Whitey” Bulger, and his companion, Catherine Greig.
DesLauriers holds a B.A. in politics from Assumption College and a J.D. degree from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. He served as guest speaker at Assumption’s 2011 Honors Convocation and received the Fr. Louis Dion, A.A. ’35 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Assumption Alumni Association in 2012.
In his remarks, he told the students of his father, a 1950 Assumption graduate, who was convinced that only through pursuing a liberal arts education would one develop the intellectual skills to succeed as a person and who could make sound, values-based decisions. “It was this pathway which led me to Assumption College in the autumn of 1978, and over the ensuing four years, I received what I today consider to be one of the finest and most personal liberal arts educations available in this part of the country,” DesLauriers said.
Also during the ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred upon DesLauriers as well as two other distinguished individuals: Stephen F. Knott ’79, professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College; and long-time Assumption College friend and benefactor Raymond Lauring, retired president of Worcester-based Lauring Construction.
Hilsman, a psychology and woman’s studies double major, told her fellow graduates, “Times may be hard, and life beyond campus may be daunting, but we have gained something special: We have received an Assumption College education, an education that has shaped us into a community of contemplative, informed individuals with the skills and knowledge to work together to change the world.”
In her introduction of DesLauriers, salutatorian Amanda Guy, an accounting major from Lakeville, Mass., said, “As he relies on his moral compass to guide him in his service to his fellow citizens, Richard DesLauriers exemplifies and embodies what it means to be an Assumption College graduate.”