Commencement is a graduation ceremony that takes place each Spring semester. It is an end-of-spring semester celebration for students projected to successfully complete all of their graduation requirements. Our BCC students are commencing on toward something greater - after having successfully earned their certificate or degree - and are ready to use their skills in the workforce or continue on to a four-year school after they graduate.
58th Commencement Guest Speaker
Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash, will serve as the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) 58th Commencement Exercises to be held June 1 at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass.
Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. Since joining the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Ash has prioritized efforts to grow jobs, help communities realize their economic development priorities, connect citizens to new economic opportunities, and build prosperity across Massachusetts.
“On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are so excited to have Secretary Ash as our 2018 Commencement speaker.” –Ellen Kennedy, President of BCC
Information for Graduates
- Guests: Invite as many as you wish, no tickets are required.
- Regalia: Must wear cap & gown to participate in ceremony; purchase at College Store ($29) beginning May 7.
- Phi Theta Kappa and Veterans: Wear your stole; if you don’t have yours, contact Geoffrey Tabor at x1610 (for PTK) or Mary Zanconato at x1660 (for Veterans).
- Photos: Commencement Photos Inc (pre-approved by BCC) will contact you directly; there is no obligation to purchase. (Photos will also be available on BCC's Flickr site soon after Commencement.)
- For special needs: Contact Mary Martin at 413-236-1602.
- Arrival: By 3:45 pm; traffic can be heavy.
- Flowers: Limited amount for sale at rear of shed; no other concessions available.
- Line up: In alphabetical order by major, with your faculty, at the rear of the Shed; you will be given a name card to give to the announcer on stage.
- Honor Tassels: Will be given to eligible students during line-up. Hang it on the right side of your cap.
- Diploma: Will not be in the “cover” you receive on stage; pick up your diploma right after the ceremony at Diploma Table. Don’t leave Tanglewood without it!
We look forward to seeing you and your guests as we celebrate your achievement.
Congratulations from everyone at BCC!
BCC's 57th Commencement
The 2017 Commencement ceremony took place in the afternoon on Friday, June 2 at Tanglewood at 4:30 pm.
The Registrar’s Office maintains a list of all graduates and potential graduates and notifies them about their graduation status either by email or letter.
2017 Commencement Speaker
Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education
Commissioner Santiago was appointed to his position by Governor Charlie Baker in July 2015. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the Commonwealth and its citizens. Santiago joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in April 2013 as the Senior Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs.
“On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are thrilled to have Commissioner Santiago as our 2017 Commencement speaker. He is a true champion for higher education both in Massachusetts and beyond,” said Ellen Kennedy, President of BCC. “As the former CEO of the Hispanic College Fund, Commissioner Santiago worked to provide access and resources for career and educationally driven Hispanics. We see striking similarities in the work we do at BCC in providing access to higher education for residents in the Berkshires.”
Commissioner Santiago’s past academic appointments include that of Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Wisconsin’s second largest research university). He brings over 30 years of experience in public higher education. Santiago also served as provost and chief operating officer at the University at Albany, (SUNY). He was a professor of economics at UWM and SUNY-Albany and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.
Santiago is also the author or co-author of six books and has published dozens of articles and book reviews, of which many focus on economic development and the changing socioeconomic status of Latinos in the United States. On two separate occasions, in 1996 and 2011, Santiago has been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine.
Berkshire Community College held its 55th Commencement on May 29, 2015 at Tanglewood in Lenox.
Senator Elizabeth Warren's Commencement Speech at BCC's 55th Commencement (courtesy of C-SPAN)
BCC's 2015 Commencement Video Highlights!
2015 COMMENCEMENT News Releases
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
Juan José Carrión-Almeida