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Endicott College Graduates First Doctoral Students at Commencement

May 17, 2016 – Endicott College holds its seventy-sixth commencement exercises on Saturday, May 21 at 10:30 am at the Stadium, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly, MA.

Over 900 students are expected to graduate in 2016:  two students with a Doctor of Educational Leadership, 286 with Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, or Master of Fine Arts degrees, 602 students with Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, and 17 with Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.

In a special hooding ceremony, two doctoral students receive their degrees at the ceremony.  Mark Carlson and Emilie Clucas will be the first candidates to successfully defend their dissertations and receive their doctorate. 

Bill and Joyce Cummings will be the commencement speakers and recipients of Honorary Doctors of  Humane Letters at the ceremony.  They co-founded Cummings Foundation, Inc. in 1986, and today, with holding assets exceeding $1.2 billion, it is one of the largest private foundations in New England. The foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC and two not-for-profit New Horizons retirement communities. It also has various grant-making initiatives, one of which annually awards 100 grants of $100,000 each. Through this and other grant programs, the foundation has awarded more than $130 million in recent years to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.

Bill Cummings graduated from Tufts University in 1958. He worked in sales and marketing and also served in the United States Army Reserves, before acquiring, enhancing, and selling a well-established Medford, Massachusetts firm, Old Medford Foods. He founded Cummings Properties, LLC in 1970 and has enjoyed much success in buying, building, and managing commercial real estate. Based in Woburn, Cummings Properties currently operates 10 million square feet and provides commercial space for more than 2,000 Massachusetts businesses and organizations. One of its largest campuses is the landmark Cummings Center in Beverly.

Bill served 10 years as a charter trustee of Tufts University and is a former overseer of Tufts Medical School and director of Winchester Hospital. He is also the founder and former publisher of three community newspapers, a bank director, and an elected member and chairman of the Winchester Planning Board. At various times, he has worked as a licensed real estate broker, a licensed auctioneer, and a Massachusetts justice of the peace. He is currently writing an autobiography that is slated to be published early next year. 

Joyce Cummings is a director of Cummings Properties and a trustee of Cummings Foundation. She is a past president of Winchester's En Ka Society (a women's service organization), has served as women's golf chair at Winchester Country Club, and is a former trustee of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In addition, Joyce was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Winchester Community Music School and VNA Hospice Care, Inc. of Woburn. 

Joyce graduated from University of Alabama in 1962 and became a hospital dietician at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, where she met Bill in 1964. They now have four children and four young grandchildren. In 2011, Joyce and Bill became the first Massachusetts residents to join "The Giving Pledge," an effort initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet that invites wealthy individuals to dedicate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. 

Curtis L. Gerrish will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.  He is CEO and founder of Rochester Electronics, a privately held and managed company that offers the world's most comprehensive solution for mature and end-of-life semiconductors. He founded the company in 1981 after 20 years at Motorola, when he developed a robust business model to address a growing need for a reliable, continuing source of semiconductors that had been discontinued by the original manufacturer. 

By acquiring the remaining inventory and support materials when production ends on a specific device, Rochester can provide long-term manufacturing and customer support in an industry where ever-shortening product lifecycles can be costly and time-consuming for end-users. Located in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the company now owns and operates a campus of five buildings with more than 500,000 square feet of office, test, manufacturing, and warehouse space. 

Active in his community, Mr. Gerrish has served as a trustee for Anna Jaques Hospital and the Institution of Savings, both in Newburyport. He also served as president of NAID (Newburyport Area Industrial Development) for several years, overseeing development of the Newburyport Industrial Park. He is currently a board member of the charitable foundation that was funded by the original NAID organization. 

The Gerrish School of Business at Endicott was dedicated in October 2013. Mr. Gerrish’s granddaughter Christina graduated from Endicott in 2014, and granddaughter Stephanie is graduating at this ceremony.   His grandson Andrew and nephew Matthew also attend the school. 

The Excellence in Teaching Award, voted on by the graduating class, goes to Aileen Torrance, Assistant Dean of the Gerrish School of Business. She received a B.S. in Business from Miami University and a J.D. from Hamline School of Law. She teaches courses in the areas of business fundamentals, communication, business law, business ethics, human resource management and internship and thesis and she enjoys being the faculty advisor for the DECA student group. 

Before joining the Endicott community, she held positions in human resources, most recently as Sr. Vice President of Human Resources for American Tower Corporation. Before going in-house, Dean Torrance was an associate with Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Boston, MA and an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, MN. Among her many responsibilities within human resources, she was responsible for employee communications, process improvement, marketing and talent management which included executive and employee development. Whether she was instructing executives, managers, employees or students, her passion for developing and facilitating seminars and courses to help others grow professionally and personally shows through. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and is also a member of the Society Human Resource Management.