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MassBay Announces Dr. Noe Ortega, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, as the 61st Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, May 3, 2023


Liz Cooper


Dr. Noe Ortega MassBay Community College has announced Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Commissioner Dr. Noe Ortega as the College’s Commencement Speaker, November 2022 (Photo/Massachusetts Department of Higher Education).


WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (May 3, 2022) — MassBay Community College is pleased to announce Dr. Noe Ortega, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, will deliver the keynote address for the College’s 61st Commencement on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the College’s Wellesley Hills campus.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Ortega as the keynote speaker for our Commencement ceremony,” said MassBay President David Podell. “Dr. Ortega has visited our campus and spoken to our students in the short time since he took office.  He clearly has a keen interest in the success of community college students. Our MassBay students were impressed by his warmth and his interest in their educational journeys, and I know our graduates will be inspired by his words at the Commencement ceremony.”

Dr. Ortega was sworn in as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in November 2022. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Ortega most recently served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a position he held since the fall of 2020. Prior to accepting his appointment as secretary, Dr. Ortega held the role of Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Dr. Ortega received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Edwards University, a Master of Science in School Counseling from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy from the University of Michigan.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education executes the policies and day-to-day operations of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE). The mission of the BHE is to ensure that Massachusetts residents have the opportunity to benefit from a higher education that enriches their lives and advances their contributions to the civic life, economic development and social progress of the Commonwealth.

MassBay will award approximately 450 Associate Degrees and Certificates at the conclusion of the spring 2023 semester. For more information about the 2023 Commencement Exercises at MassBay, please visit

MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations, and Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.

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Students + Alumni