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Congressman Neal to Speak at MCLA 120th Commencement

March 25, 2019
In The News

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will celebrate its 120th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 11 a.m., in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium.

This year's commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, who represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts in Congress and who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. Neal will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.

In addition, Richard Alcombright, vice president of local business and the customer relations manager at MountainOne and who served as the mayor of North Adams for four terms, will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree; and Shirley Edgerton, who earned her master of education from the college and is the director of Youth Alive Inc. and the cultural proficiency coach for Pittsfield Public Schools, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

In recognition of their awards, the honorary degree recipients will have books placed in MCLA's Freel Library in their names.

MCLA President James F. Birge said he is pleased to recognize Neal, Alcombright and Edgerton with honorary degrees at this year's graduation ceremony.

"We are thrilled that Congressman Richard Neal, Richard Alcombright, and Shirley Edgerton will join us at our 120th commencement, as we honor them for their remarkable contributions to the Ccommonwealth of Massachusetts, the Berkshires, and North Adams. The examples they have set will inspire our class of 2019, as these new graduates embark upon this next step of their lives," Birge said.

MCLA Board of Trustees Chairwoman Denise Marshall also commended those who will be honored.

"We are happy to welcome to campus Congressman Richard Neal, the dean of both the commonwealth's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives and the New England Congressional Delegation, as the commencement speaker for the 2019 ceremony," she said. "We also will be pleased to honor former North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, who is a longtime, avid supporter of MCLA, and Shirley Edgerton, an educator, manager, public speaker, and community activist who, through her varied roles, has benefited countless residents of the Berkshires."