Massachuesetts Commissioner of Higher Education, Carlos Santiago
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
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.
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 ($27) beginning
Phi Theta Kappa and Veterans: Wear your stole; if you don’t have yours, contact Kellie at x1605 (for PTK) or Mary at
x1662 (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
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.