2013 Speakers and Honorary Degrees

2013 Speaker

Richard DesLauriers '82, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Field Division, will deliver the address at the College's 96th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11. During the ceremony, DesLauriers will also receive an honorary degree.

"Richard DesLauriers has made incredibly significant -- and historic -- contributions to public safety," said Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo. "He has devoted his life to service of his country, and has exemplified the finest values as a leader within the FBI. Rick has remained very involved with Assumption College. I expect that our graduating seniors and audience members will find inspiration from Rick's life story and how his Assumption educational formation in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual tradition has shaped his life and career."

DesLauriers 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. This week, he announced that the FBI has identified the likely suspects in the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. In 2011, DesLauriers announced the arrest of one of the most wanted fugitives in U.S. history, James "Whitey" Bulger, and his longtime companion Catherine Greig.

DesLauriers joined the FBI in 1987, and has worked in Alabama, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, spending much of his career in counterintelligence. Prior to his 2010 appointment in Boston, he served as deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters. He was responsible for nationwide counterintelligence operations and espionage investigations.

A native of Longmeadow, Mass., he holds a B.A. in politics from Assumption and a J.D. degree from The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law. DesLauriers 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 last year.

2013 Honorary Degree Recipients

In addition to DesLauriers, honorary degrees will also be conferred upon 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.

Stephen F. Knott: In addition to being a faculty member of the U.S. Naval War College, Knott served as co-chair of the University of Virginia's Presidential Oral History Program and directed the Ronald Reagan Oral History Project. He earned his bachelor's degree in politics in 1979 from Assumption College and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College. Knott has worked for the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and taught at Boston College, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Virginia. A Paxton, Mass. native, he is author of a book on Alexander Hamilton's controversial image in the American mind, Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, and has also publishedSecret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency, an examination of the use of covert operations by early American presidents. He is a co-author of The Reagan Years and At Reagan's Side: Insiders' Recollections from Sacramento to the White House. His most recent book, Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics, was published in March 2012. In 2009, Knott received the Fr. Louis Dion, A.A.'35 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Assumption College Alumni Association.

Raymond Lauring: Lauring has improved the life of the Assumption community through significant financial support and has faithfully supported other organizations in greater Worcester. Retired president of Lauring Construction, he took over the business established by his father in 1920. His three sons now run the business, which last year completed the construction of Assumption's Tinsley Campus Ministry Center. Lauring Construction built the Ryken Center at Saint John's High School in Shrewsbury and has worked on many church renovations in the Worcester Diocese. Lauring is also co-owner of Emmanuel Communications (WNEB 1230-AM) of Worcester, founded in 2008 when a small group of Catholics answered the call to start a local Catholic radio station. He has volunteered at several local organizations and has served on the board for Southgate of Shrewsbury and both Shrewsbury and Salisbury nursing homes. The Laurings are a humble, hard-working family that has entwined family, faith and community into their lives for three generations. Together with his late wife Claire, Lauring has been committed to faith and the couple's long-standing involvement with Worcester's Christ the King Church, for which Claire volunteered. She also volunteered for Assumption College and Catholic Charities, among other local organizations. Over the years, the couple actively participated as lector, song leader, Eucharistic minister, Catholic Youth Council adult advisor, and CCD teacher. The Laurings have five children and 23 grandchildren. Raymond and Claire were the 2004 recipients of Notre Dame Academy's St. Julie award, honoring individuals who demonstrate devotion to the mission of the church.