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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, …

Greenfield Community College aims for inclusion with deaf students in Outdoor Leadership Program

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GREENFIELD — Sliding down an anchored rope, Lauren Sprague of Grafton rappelled down a tall tree behind Greenfield Community College to Peter Botsford, who was hung up, swinging in the air. In moments, Sprague attached Botsford to her …

New program at UMass helps students with disabilities transition to campus life

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — University of Massachusetts student Brian Krutzler looked good and he knew it. He went classic for the April 10 prom on the 11th floor of the Campus Center: black tuxedo, crisp white dress shirt, black bow …

Valley residents with links to Nepal urge help for relief work

Monday, April 27, 2015

AMHERST — Kabindra Man Shakya, a Nepalese postdoctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found out about the earthquake that devastated his country when he received a call from his wife’s family at 4 a.m. Saturday. “At …

Storied NYC college awaits results of AG’s finance probe

Monday, April 27, 2015

NEW YORK — First came a hotly debated decision by Cooper Union to start charging its students after being tuition-free for generations. Then came an investigation by the state attorney general into the school’s management of its finances. Over the past year, Cooper Union’s reputation as a world-class …

TEDx at UMass explores ‘pioneering’ as event expands; 12 speakers reach audience of over 700

Saturday, April 25, 2015

AMHERST — Speakers at the largest TEDx event convened at the University of Massachusetts explored the theme of pioneering Saturday, defined this way by the event’s chief curator, Nicole Malinowski: “to develop or be the first to use …

UMass engineering seniors’ year-end projects tackle issues like guiding the blind, treating post-traumatic stress

Friday, April 24, 2015

AMHERST — Can police chest cameras turn on automatically during an arrest? Can Blue Tooth technology help the blind navigate through their day? Can a device worn by soldiers help doctors treat them for post-traumatic stress disorder when …

Rally at UMass calls attention to student debt resulting from loans

Thursday, April 23, 2015

AMHERST — As 100 or so prospective students and families made their way past the University of Massachusetts Amherst student union Thursday, a circle of current students wearing signs with messages such as, “You are not a loan,” …

Smith College commencement speeches to be offered in Mandarin, Spanish translations

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — At least 130 friends and family members of the graduating Smith College class of 2015 will be the first to pilot the college’s new simultaneous translation service at commencement next month. The May 17 event will be translated into Spanish and Mandarin by live translators working …

Filmmaker Josh Fox to urge divestment from fossil fuels in talk at UMass

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AMHERST — Renewable energy technology that exists today could replace all fossil fuel use in this country, according to filmmaker Josh Fox, who will speak Thursday evening at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as part of its Earth Day celebrations. Where the difficulty lies is in making the …

Smith College shuts down event in Scott Gym

Sunday, April 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Smith College police had to close down an event in Scott Gynasium late Friday night after the crowd became too large and additional people were trying to enter the building, a college spokesperson said. Sam Masinter, director of college relations, said in an email in response …