Elizabeth Warren announced as actual 2017 commencement keynote speaker

By Hayley Johnson

(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Elizabeth Warren was announced as the 2017 commencement keynote speaker at the University of Massachusetts on Monday in a news release from the News and Media Relations Executive Director, Ed Blaguszewski.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. on May 12 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, according to the news release.

In the release, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said “We are inspired by her staunch advocacy for equitable access to education, environmental resource conservation and support for economic justice.”

Subbaswamy explained that these issues align with the core values of the UMass campus.

Warren was elected to the United States Senate on November 6, 2012 and “has been a tireless advocate for making higher education more affordable.”

Lily Wallace, a senior political science major and vice president of the Student Government Association was very excited to hear of the decision made by UMass administration.

“Honestly I think that’s such a phenomenal choice. She’s one of our top politicians right now actively fighting for students. And to bring her here…the state she’s representing and to have students engage with politics that are directly going to be affecting them as they graduate, I think is phenomenal,” said Wallace. “Elizabeth Warren is a phenomenal speaker, I’ve been lucky enough to see her talk a couple of times and I’m honestly just in love with her, I’m so happy that she’s coming to campus.”

Jordan Kornfeld, a senior physics and astronomy major admitted that he was kind of disappointed with the choice.

“I was just hoping it would be someone a little more personable, like someone that would be funny and that people would kind of relate to…” he said.

“I think it’s really fitting, just first off because she’s the senator from Massachusetts and I know she’s really for education and especially given UMass’ kind of take on certain political opinions in this current politics age,” said Ryan Boyden, a senior physics and astronomy major. “It’ll be pretty nice and affirming to hear her story and what she’s doing and what her thoughts are for the future of UMass graduates, most of which will be living in Massachusetts still, and of course some of them going abroad. So I think it’s the perfect time for her to come speak to us, having her represent us and having such forward thinking.”

Hayley Johnson can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @hayleyk_johnson.