Superior General Rev. Richard Lamoureux, A.A., to Speak at 93rd Commencement

In commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Rev. Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists), the sponsors of Assumption College, The Very Rev. Richard Lamoureux, A.A. ‘64, superior general of the Assumptionists, will travel from Rome to address Assumption College graduates on Saturday, May 15, at the College’s 93rd Commencement. Fr. Lamoureux also will accept the Assumption College President’s Medal on behalf of the Assumptionists in recognition of the religious order’s efforts to support the educational vision of their founder, Rev. d’Alzon, at the College, which the Assumptionists established in 1904.

A Worcester native, Fr. Lamoureux 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 is fluent in four languages and conversant in several others.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Francis R. Carroll

Honorary degree recipients include Francis R. Carroll, 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.

A highly successful entrepreneur, Carroll also gives back to his community. “You’ve got to keep one foot in the business and one foot helping the poor,” he says. Carroll, an active member of St. John’s Parish in Worcester, traveled last fall to El Salvador with U.S. Representative James McGovern and others for the 20th anniversary of the murders of Jesuit priests there. He returned committed to help raise funds for missionaries in El Salvador.

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, instrumental in getting Worcester’s Korean War Veterans Memorial built, received the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s 2004 Isaiah Thomas Award, which recognizes individuals who dedicate themselves to public service. 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 D’Amour ’64 and Michele D’Amour
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 55 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. Michele has served on the board of the Springfield Diocesan Schools and on the Diocesan Blue Ribbon Commission. 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.

Individually and as a couple, Don and Michele D’Amour play leading roles in challenging Catholic schools and colleges to more fully live out their missions and express their Catholic identity. They co-founded the Fides et Ratio Grant competition for small Catholic colleges and are helping to secure the future of Catholic education. 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.

Don and Michele D’Amour have received many civic honors and awards for their good works and great generosity, including the naming of Springfield’s Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Art and the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care, among many others. In 2004, Don received the Fr. Louis Dion, A.A. ’35 Outstanding Achievement Award from Assumption College. In 2008, the couple received the Assumption College President’s Medal for “Outstanding Commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Also in 2008, Elms College honored Michele with a Via Veritatis Medal, presented annually to “an outstanding Catholic woman who exemplifies Catholic womanhood and culture at their best, and who has made significant contributions to society.”

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