Emotions high at UMass Dartmouth graduation
DARTMOUTH, Mass (WHDH) -- The effects of the Boston Marathon bombing were felt at UMass Dartmouth where stepped-up security was visible at Sunday’s commencement ceremonies.
Speakers took the time to remember the tragedy and address the school's connection to those arrested.
The marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student at the school. Three other former UMass Dartmouth students were also recently arrested for their alleged roles after the bombings had been carried out.
With all of its pomp and circumstance, a commencement is about new beginnings. But at UMass Dartmouth, they aren't just for the graduates -- this year, an entire community was ready to move forward.
“This has been a year for UMass Dartmouth like no other and due to the heartbreaking and tragic events of the last few weeks this is a commencement like no other,” said Dr. Divina Grossman, chancellor, UMass Dartmouth.
Three weeks ago, the Dartmouth campus went into lockdown while authorities searched for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was a student at the school.
“I know recent weeks have been incredibly difficult and I could not be more impressed by the strength resolve and sense of community that has emanated from the UMass Dartmouth campus,” said Sheri McCoy, commencement speaker.
On a day of celebration, the graduates fell silent to honor the victims of Boston’s Marathon bombings. But the quiet was soon broken with a spontaneous chant from an emotional crowd.
Students showed their strength, ready to set out now to make their school proud.
“Today I urge grads to be a positive force in the world. Go out make a difference make the word a better place to be,” said UMass Dartmouth President Robert Caret.
To keep the celebration safe, UMass Dartmouth says it stepped up its regular security measures putting 100 public safety officers on campus during the commencement.