Monday, May 9, 2016
Massachusetts State House
In May 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched 29 Who Shine, a commencement season awards program to recognize 29 outstanding student graduates from the Commonwealth’s public higher education system. Each honoree from a community college, state university or University of Massachusetts campus is nominated by a faculty or staff member, or by a university awards committee.
Whether furthering their education or entering careers in fields such as education, public policy, health care, creative arts, or engineering, the "29 Who Shine" embody the vibrant future that we all envision for the Commonwealth.
Each year the Governor honors the “29 Who Shine” at an awards ceremony at the Massachusetts State House. Approximately 250 invited guests attend the event, including House and Senate leaders, the Secretary of Education, Commissioner of Higher Education, members of the Board of Higher Education, college presidents, chancellors, business and non-profit leaders, students and their families.
Prior to the awards ceremony, student honorees and family members meet their legislative representatives at a reception outside the House Chamber. Students’ state senators and state representatives are invited to present their district honorees with citations and pose for photographs.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association joins the Department of Higher Education in honoring the faculty and staff mentors of the student honorees at a luncheon immediately following the student awards ceremony.
Each year the publishers of most Massachusetts daily newspapers donate full-page color ads and on-line photo galleries to salute the “29 Who Shine.” Most local media also publish profiles of student honorees.