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MassBay Announces Senator Karen Spilka as the 54th Commencement Speaker

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WELLESLEY HILLS (April 14, 2016) – MassBay Community College is pleased to announce that State Senator Karen Spilka, of Ashland, will be the keynote speaker for the College’s 54th Commencement on Thursday, May 19th at the Wellesley Hills campus.

“Senator Spilka has been a champion of the people and businesses of MetroWest,” said MassBay Interim President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “We saw it fitting this year to honor her and we know that she will inspire our students to be civic leaders, regardless of their choice of career.”

“MassBay is a true partner for the MetroWest region, and I am honored to help celebrate this year’s graduating class,” said Senator Spilka. “These hard-working students are our future leaders, and I look forward to their many accomplishments and contributions as members of the MetroWest workforce and community.”

In addition, MassBay will honor Senator Spilka with the Distinguished Service Award, an award given during Commencement that honors and celebrates individuals in the community who have made significant contributions to life and livelihood of MassBay students and the College’s service-area communities.

Senator Spilka is the State Senator for the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, which includes the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts. She serves as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the committee that oversees the budget and finances of the Commonwealth. She also chairs the Biotech Legislative Caucus and the Tech Hub Caucus. Senator Spilka’s legislative accomplishments include efforts in a broad range of areas including economic development, jobs creation, education, juvenile justice and services for the elderly and disabled communities.

Senator Spilka was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the fall of 2001, where she served three years before her election to the State Senate in January 2005. In the Senate she has served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and the Majority Whip. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senator Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation. In addition, she has been a facilitator and fact finder in disputes in the public and private sectors, as well as a social worker and trainer of adult mediation and school-based peer mediation programs, collaborative-based collective bargaining and conflict resolution strategies.

Senator Spilka is a graduate of Northeastern Law School and holds a B.S. from Cornell University. She has been married for over thirty years to Joel S. Loitherstein, an environmental engineer, and has three children and one dog.

Senator Spilka represents MetroWest towns in Middlesex and Norfolk County, including Ashland and Framingham where MassBay has two campuses.

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