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Mitt Romney Calls for Bentley College Graduates to "Be American Heroes"

May 1, 2002

WALTHAM, Mass. - Mitt Romney, former president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts from the Republican Party, addressed graduates at Bentley College's 83rd undergraduate commencement ceremony this morning. He called on the graduates to aspire to heroism in their work and their families.

I believe that there has never been a time in the history of our country when we were more in need of heroes, Romney said. Some of our traditional sources of heroes have gone a little dry. We've been disappointed by politicians, clergy and athletes. As never before our country needs heroes that we and our children can pattern ourselves after.

Romney described heroism as taking risks to one's self for something greater than one's self and said this can be done on a large scale, such as the heroism of the firefighters, police officers and emergency workers who were heroes on September 11; or a smaller scale, by loving your spouse and children.

Romney said his own heroes include Kerri Strug, an Olympic athlete who performed in the Atlanta summer games despite an injury so the American gymnastic team could qualify for a medal; Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza who donated much of his earnings to Catholic orphanages, schools and charities; and his own wife, Ann, who has dedicated her life to raising their children.

Only those of you who reach beyond yourself, who become heroes, will experience real passion and exhilaration, he told the 6,000 graduates, parents and friends gathered for the ceremony. Graduates of Bentley College, please be American heroes.

Romney was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law by Bentley College. Honorary Doctors of Commercial Science were awarded to Bentley College alumnus Joel B. Wilder ('58), chairman of the board of The Wilder Companies and Bentley trustee emeritus, and alumnus John T. Collins ('69), chairman and CEO of The Collins Group and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bentley College.


During the undergraduate commencement 896 bachelor of science degrees, 44 bachelor of arts degrees, one associate in science degree and 20 certificates were granted to 963 students from 24 states and 59 countries.


The Gregory H. Adamian Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Professor of Computer Information Systems J. Douglas Robertson of Marstons Mills, Mass. Bentley bestowed two Scholar of the Year awards to Dominique M. Haughton, professor of Mathematical Sciences and resident of Arlington, Mass. and William J. Read, professor of Accountancy and resident of North Dighton, MA. The Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising was presented to professor of Management and Psychology Aaron J. Nurick of Boston, Mass. Graduate Stephanie M. Hildreth, B.S. Information Design and Corporate Communication, of Burlington, Mass. was the winner of the Professor Robert J. Weafer Award for Undergraduate Academic Excellence.


David F. D'Alessandro, chairman and chief executive officer of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., will be the keynote speaker for the 27th commencement of Bentley's McCallum Graduate School of Business this afternoon. During the ceremony 231 master of science degrees, 257 master of business administration degrees and 56 certificates will be conferred, representing a total of 544 students from 19 states and 43 countries. D'Alessandro will be bestowed with an Honorary Doctors of Commercial Science degree and graduate Kristijan Cvjetovic, M.S. Computer Information Systems, of Croatia and Watertown, Mass., will be presented the Professor E. Williams Dandes Award for Graduate Academic Excellence.


David F. D'Alessandro is chairman and chief executive officer of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. In May of 2001, WORTH magazine named D'Alessandro one of the 50 Best CEOs and Boston Magazine named him the most powerful person in Finance. In October of 2001, MONEY magazine named D'Alessandro one of the four Best New CEOs.

Named by the Sporting News as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports for the past six years, D'Alessandro is the architect behind John Hancock's successful and widely acclaimed sports marketing programs, including the company's worldwide sponsorship of the Olympic Games, Major League Baseball, and the Boston Marathon. He also serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Wang Center for the Performing Arts and is author of the national bestseller, Brand Warfare--10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand (McGraw Hill).

Mitt Romney is former president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts from the Republican Party.

Three years ago, with the 2002 Winter Olympics mired in controversy and facing serious financial crisis, Romney was asked to become president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. In his three years in Salt Lake, Romney erased a $379 million operating deficit, restored public confidence, organized 23,000 volunteers, oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization to ensure public safety and led one of the most successful Olympics in American history.

In 1994, Romney was the Massachusetts Republican nominee for the United States Senate and was a longtime board member of City Year.


For a full transcript of commencement speeches and detailed information on the graduates, visit the Bentley College 2002 Commencement web site at

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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