NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will hold its 121st and 122nd commencement exercises, recognizing the Classes of 2020 and 2021, in two virtual ceremonies on May 15 and 16.
The Class of 2020 had not been able to cross the stage to receive their degrees last year because of the pandemic and it had been hoped that an in-person commencement could be held for both classes this year. However, the pandemic has continued to disrupt routines and the college will close its residence halls on April 11.
Instead, the 121st commencement that recognizes the Class of 2020 will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. The 122nd commencement for the Class of 2021, will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.
Each ceremony will feature a commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, as well as speakers from each class. Each graduate will be mailed a class celebration box with festive gifts, the official MCLA diploma cover given during in-person commencement celebrations, and a program.
The commencement speaker for the Class of 2020 will be Mary Dana Hinton, president of Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., and an active and respected proponent of the liberal arts and inclusion. Hinton will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Jenn Smith, an experienced journalist who began her career at The Berkshire Eagle before becoming engagement editor at the Seattle Times, will receive an honorary doctor of journalism degree.
Ty Allan Jackson, an award-winning children's book author, literacy advocate, and motivational speaker who travels around the country inspiring children and educating adults about the impacts of illiteracy, will be commencement speaker for the Class of 2021, and will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Stephen Boyd, CEO of Boyd Technologies in Lee and a co-founder and board chair of the Berkshire Innovation Center, and who has dedicated his career to advancing economic development in the Berkshires, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.
"I'm excited to spend the weekend of May 15-16 celebrating our deserving, resilient, and incredibly impressive Classes of 2020 and 2021," said MCLA President James F. Birge. "Our speakers and honorary degree recipients represent individuals who have accomplished great things in their lives and careers while also creating opportunities for others to do the same. They are exemplary role models for our new graduates, who will now make their own impacts on their communities and on the world."
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Say goodbye to this burst of spring — Mother Nature prefers a little chaos in her work.
The warm temperatures of Wednesday are about to plummet as a snowstorm — yes a snowstorm — bears down on the Berkshires.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Pittsfield north and parts of Southern Vermont beginning Thursday evening through Friday night. Total accumulations could reach 6 inches in the higher elevations.
Accuweather is forecasting up to 10 inches with rain all day Thursday and temperatures dipping into the 40s. Thursday night will temperatures dropping into the 30s.
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