Rows of seated Graduating college students in caps and gowns with one cap reading teach, love inspire

Worcester State University Resumes In-Person Undergraduate, Graduate Ceremonies

May 9, 2022
By: Maureen Stokes

Honorary Degree Bestowed Upon Ilyasah Shabazz, the 2022 Undergraduate Speaker


Worcester State University, following two years of virtual and drive-thru ceremonies, will return to traditional, in-person commencement activities for its undergraduate and graduate events this graduation session. 

The larger of the two events – undergraduate commencement ceremony – will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester. Novelist, producer and educator Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of noted civil rights icon Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, will give the keynote commencement address. 

Chosen by the senior class committee from a list of approved speakers presented to the Board of Trustees, Shabazz will speak about self-determination and empowerment. Shabazz will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and a total 1,146 bachelor degrees will be conferred. 

The graduate commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. in the John Brissettee ’88 Competition Gym located on the first floor of the Wellness Center on the Worcester State campus. Andrew Nickerson, candidate for the Education Specialist in School Psychology, will deliver the commencement address. A total of 305 graduate degrees will be conferred. 

The Florence Nightingale Nurses Pinning Ceremony, an event for students who have completed their studies in the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Nursing Department at Worcester State University, will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Sullivan Hall Auditorium on the Worcester State campus. 

The nurses pinning is a ceremonial rite-of-passage for nursing students and dates back to the 12th Century when knights, who aided the sick and infirm, were given a Maltese cross to wear. Today, the award is aligned with Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing, who was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in the 1860s for her dedication and aid to others during the Crimean War. Worcester State nursing students must follow the path of certification for licensure to officially become a registered nurse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A total of 74 students (72 BSN and 2 RN to BSN) will be pinned by a parent, family member or significant other. 

Worcester State University, in following the guidance of the State and local public health agencies, is recommending that masks be worn by members of the public attending its indoor commencement and ceremonial events. Each event is open to the general public and will be live-streamed the day of each event. The link,, will be active 15 minutes before the start of each event. 

Additional information about the Worcester State University 2022 Commencement events can be found on the website, and  The three ceremonies will be livestreamed on the university website.


Leave a Comment

See for yourself what #woolife is all about.

The best way to learn about Worcester State University is to tour our beautiful campus. Be sure to let your student tour guide know your interests so they can personalize your tour.

See the tour schedule