Michael Miers

Executive Vice President and CIO
(508) 849-3326


Press Release Form

Commencement Weekend 2024

In academics, commencement is the ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred on graduating students.  Your college commencement ceremony recognizes the completion of your degree and the start of your professional life. 

Commencement 2024 will take place on Monday, May 13th, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.  

Students completing their studies in August/December 2023 or May 2024 are invited to participate in the May ceremony.  Students who are within 6 credits of completion can petition to participate.  If you have any questions about your eligibility to graduate, please contact your faculty advisor for guidance.  

Please email us at or call the Student Life Office at 508-849-3388 with and questions regarding the ceremony.

We look forward to celebrating with you and your family!  

More Information

Commencement Weekend Events
Tickets & Commencement Weekend RSVP
Commencement Speaker
Honorary Degree Recipients
Student Speaker
Senior Week
Cap & Gown Information
Commencement Press Release Form
Visitor Information
International Guests
Commencement 2024 Highlights

Tickets & Commencement Weekend RSVP

  • Tickets for guests are not required for Commencement on May 13th, and guests are unlimited.  
  • The Commencement Weekend RSVP form  will be emailed to students attending graduation by April 1st Please complete the RSVP once received to ensure that your name is on the graduation lineup list and to help ensure a smooth ceremony.  
  • Due to space capacity guest reservations will be required for Baccalaureate Mass and the Hooding Ceremony. The Commencement Weekend RSVP form will serve as your reservation for these events. 


Commencement Speaker

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Address

Eric W. Dickson MD, MHCM, FACEP

Doctor of Public Administration


Dr. Dickson is President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health, the largest not-for-profit health care system in central Massachusetts with $4.1 billion in annual revenue, 2,100 physicians and 17,000 employees. The system includes four owned hospitals on eight campuses with more than 1,000 licensed beds; four affiliated hospitals; 70 office-based community practices; a behavioral health services agency; six urgent care centers; and an Accountable Care Organization. UMass Memorial trains over 650 residents and fellows annually and performs world-class research in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Dickson also serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Prior to being named President and CEO of the health care system, Dr. Dickson served as President of the UMass Memorial Medical Group and senior associate dean at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The UMass Memorial Medical Group is a subsidiary of UMass Memorial Health Care and is a 1,300-physician, 2,100-employee multidisciplinary medical group with revenues of over $700 million. He served as the head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and interim chief operating officer for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Dickson completed his medical degree and residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has a master’s degree in health care management from Harvard University. Dr. Dickson has served as a member of the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners, lectures nationally on the use of the Toyota Production System in health care and is an active faculty member for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, where he works with health systems around the world to reduce health care costs while improving quality.  Dr. Dickson is a Past Board Chair of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and of America’s Essential Hospitals, which is the national association for safety net hospitals.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Honorary Degree Recipient

Paul A. DiPierro

Doctor of Business Administration

Paul A. DiPierro was a member of the Board of Trustees for 13 years and served as Board Chair from 2014 to 2017.

Mr. DiPierro’s impact as a business executive spanned more than 40 years. He led sales and marketing operations at companies in Massachusetts and New York, including more than 20 years directing the sales strategy at Polyform Corporation. For the last 18 years of his career, Mr. DiPierro was director of sales at Lowell Corporation.

Throughout his career, he developed growth-focused domestic and international sales teams and marketing strategies to generate new business and engage customers. In his roles, he published technical papers and business articles and developed seminars on a variety of topics. He served in numerous regional and civic roles, including leadership positions on the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mohegan Council of the Boys Scouts of America. He was on the board of the Salisbury Singers in Worcester. In addition, Mr. DiPierro was a Trustee at Suffolk University, a recipient of Suffolk’s Outstanding Alumni Award, and active in the annual fund campaign for the university. He currently serves on the board of the Chatham Orpheum Theater.

As an Anna Maria College Trustee, Mr. DiPierro was involved in many strategic mission-focused initiatives, including capital improvements and curricular and pedagogical growth through expanded online degrees and certificate programs. As a Trustee, Mr. DiPierro was also committed to enhancements to Anna Maria’s campus with the addition of two new residence halls, the Information Commons, a student success center, and the creation of the AMCAT Center and Caparso Field as athletic programs expanded. Mr. DiPierro also oversaw the Presidential search process that led to the selection of Mary Lou Retelle as Anna Maria’s 11th President in 2015.

Together with his wife, Rosemary DiPierro ’72, Mr. DiPierro dedicated many years and generous resources to advance Anna Maria College, its mission, and its Catholic identity.



Honorary Degree Recipient

John J. Spillane

Doctor of Laws

John J. Spillane was a member of the Board of Trustees of Anna Maria College for 14 years and served as Chair of the Board from 2017 to 2023. He is managing partner of the law firm, Spillane & Spillane LLP, with offices in Worcester and Hyannis.

Attorney Spillane is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Suffolk University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the Courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as the United States District Court for Massachusetts, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. In this community, he has served as a legal advisor, Trustee and Director of many nonprofit Boards and organizations. Attorney Spillane is past Chair of the Board of the Research Bureau, past President of the Worcester Economic Club, the Mohegan Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Worcester Young Businessmen’s Association, and the Worcester Club. He is a Director of Cornerstone Bank. Additionally, he has led the Partners in Charity Campaign for the Diocese of Worcester and has Co-Chaired the United Way of Central Massachusetts Annual Campaign within the business community. He has served as Co-Chair of the Central Massachusetts Heart Ball for the American Heart Association. He is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Commodore of the Hyannis Yacht Club and a member of the New York Yacht Club. In the legal community he is a recipient of the St Thomas Moore Award. For his community service, he is a recipient of the Key to the City of Worcester.

As Chair of the Board of Anna Maria College, Attorney Spillane was instrumental in several initiatives to strengthen the institution’s impact on its students and the region. In 2019, the College completed a $5 million renovation to its Campus Center that was followed in 2022 with a renovation to its Chapel. That same year, the College also opened an Esports Center. Chair Spillane was instrumental in identifying and recruiting a diverse set of Trustees, each possessing specific expertise in the College’s core academic and programmatic disciplines. Under Chair Spillane’s leadership, the College’s endowment grew by 100 percent. This historic growth was punctuated by the College’s receipt of its first and second one million-dollar gifts to its endowment. Chair Spillane rigorously promoted the mission and strategic vision of the College as an emissary in the greater Worcester community. Chair Spillane’s leadership in conjunction with President Retelle ensured the College’s continuing ability to serve its students’ academic and career objectives during the Pandemic, while simultaneously building an abiding capacity for this College.

Attorney Spillane and his wife, Kristina, continue their devotion to Anna Maria’s mission and have afforded Anna Maria with immeasurable counsel and support through the years.

Student Speaker

Shayla J. MacDonald is the Class of 2024 Student Speaker.

Shayla is a graduating senior social work student at Anna Maria College and a member of Phi Alpha Eta Psi Honor Society for social work. She has earned field experience for her major at both the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Worcester County Jail and House of Corrections. Shayla served the campus community as a peer mentor as well as a social work tutor. She played on the Women’s Ice Hockey team for four years and was captain this past season.

Shayla is from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Commencement Weekend Events

We will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass in Fuller Activities Center on Saturday, May 11th, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Baccalaureate Mass is a Catholic liturgy, celebrating the Sacrament of the Eucharist and graduating students.  All members of the Anna Maria College community and their guests are invited to attend the Mass, regardless of faith.  

The Hooding Ceremony will immediately follow Baccalaureate Mass. The hooding of the Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree Recipients by faculty recognizes your academic success.  Your hood (the scarf-like part of your academic regalia) represents the degree that you have earned, and will be placed over your shoulders by a faculty member or department chair in your field of study. 

 A reception will be held in the Bishop Flanagan Campus Center for graduating students and guests, faculty, and staff immediately following the hooding ceremony.  

 Additional events on Saturday, May 11th will include: 

Social Work Pinning at 1:00 p.m. in Zecco Performing Arts Center 

Nursing Pinning at 3:00 p.m. in Zecco Performing Arts Center 

 All Saturday events will be held on campus. Guests are welcome to attend – please watch your AMCATS email for information about reservations.

Senior Week

Your Senior Class Council is busy planning Senior Week activities for the spring – more information coming soon! If you have questions or ideas, please email  

Cap & Gown Information

Anna Maria College partners with Balfour/Build a Grad for commencement regalia (cap, gown and academic hood). Regalia are required if you are attending Baccalaureate Mass and/or Commencement.  


Bachelor’s degree/Undergraduate: Full-time (Resident and Commuter) – Order by Feb 18, 2024

Pick up your regalia on campus April 4, 2024 between 6pm – 8pm. More details to follow.

Bachelor’s degree/Undergraduate: Online only/Part-time/Degree Completion order by March 31  

 Please have payment method ready when you order, as your credential fee includes diploma but not regalia.  Your regalia will be mailed to you. 

Master’s degree/Graduate/CAGS – order by March 31 

Please have payment method ready when you order, as your credential fee includes diploma but not regalia.  Your regalia will be mailed to you. (Master’s degree regalia varies slightly from Bachelor’s degree regalia. Please reach out with any questions.) 

Press Release Form

We will be happy to provide graduation announcements to your local newspaper after commencement.  If you have not already done so, please complete the form below. 

Commencement Press Release Form 

Visitor Information

For hotels, restaurants and activities in the local area, please visit 

International Guests

If you have International guests attending Commencement who require a letter of certification for their visa application please email the You will then receive a confirmation of your graduation to provide to your guests for their visa application.

2024 Commencement Highlights