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FILE - In this April 21, 2008 file photo, writer and director John Waters poses for a portrait at his home in New York. Waters will give the commencement address at Rhode Island School of Design on Saturday, May 30, 2015, and will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the school. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Filmmaker Waters to receive honorary degree from RISD

Monday, May 25, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — When the Rhode Island School of Design offered iconic filmmaker John Waters an honorary degree, he was surprised. After all, he got thrown out of every school he ever went to. Known for quirky films that push the boundaries of good taste, including 1972’s outrageous cult classic “Pink Flamingos,” Waters is the keynote speaker at the prestigious art school’s commencement next weekend. Waters will also receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree; recipients are chosen by the RISD community, and nominations are reviewed by a committee of students, faculty and staff. “I don’t even know if I got a high …

Former Saturday Night Live actor Brad Hall brings levity to Williston graduation ceremony

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — With the sound of bagpipes, applause and cheers in the air, 139 graduates took their seats under the big tent outside the Reed Campus Center for the Williston Northampton School’s 174th commencement ceremony Sunday morning. Giving this year’s commencement address was actor, writer, and director Brad Hall, who kept graduates, family, …

Amherst College graduates 470, remembers first African-American to be chosen as class speaker 100 years ago

Sunday, May 24, 2015

AMHERST — Several thousand family members, friends and well-wishers gathered on white folding chairs in the shade of a couple dozen oak trees on the Amherst College quad Sunday to see the 470 students of the class of 2015 off on the next leg of their journeys. Among those students was Lucas Renique, …

Janitor layoffs incite hunger strike at Tufts

Monday, May 4, 2015

MEDFORD — Five students at Tufts University began a hunger strike Sunday over the university’s plans to cut about 35 janitorial jobs at the end of May. More than 80 students, janitors and families of the staff gathered outside the main administrative building to mark the start of …

Smith College to welcome trans women as part of new admissions policy

Saturday, May 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Smith College will join Mount Holyoke College in welcoming self-identified transgender women in its admissions policy beginning in the fall of 2015. “It is a historic moment,” said Smith College President Kathleen McCartney on Saturday. “I …

Ex-Congressman Marty Meehan named UMass president

Friday, May 1, 2015

BOSTON — Marty Meehan, the former congressman and current chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, was named president of the five-campus UMass system on Friday after selling his vision of turning the system into one of the nation’s …

Protesters march from Amherst College to UMass demanding increased access to education for undocumented immigrants

Friday, May 1, 2015

AMHERST — About 70 people, mostly college-aged, marched from Amherst College to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Friday chanting their mission to bring undocumented immigrants “out of the shadows, into the classroom.” Hampshire College student Gustavo Madrigal described …

UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan to head UMass system

Friday, May 1, 2015

Marty Meehan, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and former representative of the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives, will be the next president of the University of Massachusetts system. Meehan was chosen in a unanimous vote at a UMass Board of …

Former Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle to pay damages in settlement with state

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Former Westfield State University president Evan S. Dobelle has agreed to pay the state $185,000 to settle allegations that he used school money for personal spending and vacations during his tenure. Dobelle also cannot accept any …

UMass trustees expected to choose president Friday from finalists UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan and Harvard Professor John Quelch

Thursday, April 30, 2015

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts system may name a new president as early as Friday. A presidential search committee announced Thursday morning it had selected two finalists — Marty Meehan, chancellor of UMass Lowell, and John A. Quelch, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. UMass …

Krauthammer talks politics with UMass Republicans

Thursday, April 30, 2015

AMHERST — Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Charles Krauthammer won another honor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Wednesday evening — he became the first speaker for the school’s Republican Club in recent memory who did not inspire …

Gates shares views of US power in Amherst talk

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

AMHERST — As he reflected on his five years as U.S. secretary of defense, Robert Gates emphasized that the nation needs to be selective about when and where it sends its citizens into battle. If the United States …

Nepali students in Valley band together for support

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Smith College senior Pratistha Bhattarai was having a Skype conversation with her parents in Kathmandu, Nepal, when Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused them to flee their home. Bhattarai, 22, stayed glued to her screen for 40 …