Endicott College holds its seventy-fifth commencement exercises on at the Stadium, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly, MA.
843 students are expected to graduate in 2015: 238 with Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, or Master of Fine Arts degrees, 596 students with Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, and nine with Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.
Raymond J. Bourque will be the commencement speaker and recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. He is considered one of the greatest defensemen in National Hockey League (NHL) history. He is a 22-year veteran of the NHL, which includes 21 seasons with the Boston Bruins, leading them to two Stanley Cup final appearances. He was captain of the team for 15 years and, during that time, became the league’s all-time leader for goals, assists, and points by a defenseman. He has earned 10 Norris Trophy nominations and was selected to join the sport’s elite ranks in the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
As a resident of the North Shore for over 30 years, Bourque has exemplified determination, leadership and consistency. His dedication to the game he loves, his family, friends, fans, and charities has made him a figurehead of community improvement and an inspiration to many. Because of these qualities, Endicott was honored when he agreed to lend his name to the College’s new ice arena: The Raymond J. Bourque Arena.
In his retirement years, Ray uses his standing as one of Boston’s most beloved and historic sports figures to give back to the community through several local charities. He is on the Board of Directors of Celebrities for Charity, an organization dedicated to helping celebrities fulfill their philanthropic aspirations and increasing the access charities have to those popular figures.
Ray and his wife Christiane have three children and two grandchildren.
Nancy E. Frates will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony. In March 2011, Nancy E. Frates’ 27-year-old son, Pete, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since that day, Nancy has immersed herself in the ALS community in an effort to increase awareness about the debilitating disease and raise research funding to find a cure. In the past three years, Nancy has travelled around the country to speak to senators, CEO’s, lobbyists, FDA panels and top doctors about issues that affect the ALS community. She is a well-recognized speaker who shares the motivating message that with support this disease can be conquered. She has developed strong working relationships with ALS Association executives at both the local and national levels, as well as organizations involved in research, patient support, and fundraising. Nancy is a Trustee of the ALS Association’s National Board.
In August 2014, her family and supporters inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which quickly became a viral fundraising phenomenon. The challenge inspired people across the United States and world to help spread awareness of and increase donations to the ALS Association, all through the engaging act of posting videos of participants dumping buckets of ice water on themselves and encouraging friends to do the same. In six months, the challenge raised $115 million for the ALS Association of the United States and over 220 million globally.
Nancy and her husband John are lifelong residents of Beverly, MA, where they are heavily involved in the community. The Frates have three children and three granddaughters.
The Excellence in Teaching Award, voted on by the graduating class, goes to Dr. Richard J. Nastasi, a professor in the School of Sport Science and Fitness Studies. Dr. Nastasi received his doctoral degree from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Boston University. Previous to his appointment at Endicott, he served as an assistant professor in Human Movement and Sport Sciences at the University of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia and as a lecturer in Curriculum and Teaching at Boston University.
His academic interests include the study of heroism in literature, the integration of sport and philosophy into an empowering academic framework and the application of constructivist theories in the physical education classroom. Dr. Nastasi has published scholarly articles and commentary in refereed and non-refereed journals, co-edited an international proceedings (AIESEP) and has written book chapters on management ethics, scholarship and constructivism. He has presented papers at regional and national conferences as well as international presentations in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Dr. Nastasi has given plenary addresses on Character Education and Sport (Australia) and on Scholarship Reconsidered: A Sport Research Perspective (Portugal).
He was an athletic director, coach and high school teacher in previous lives. While he once was an intercollegiate basketball and baseball player, he now thankfully limits himself to recreational basketball and jogging.