188th Commencement

The University of New England awarded over 1,500 baccalaureate, graduate, and professional degrees during its 188th Commencement on Saturday, May 20, representing the fields of osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, health sciences, the humanities, human services, business, education, and the natural and social sciences.

Two students stand in like to walk across the stage at the 2023 U N E commencement ceremony
two students smile for the camera at commencement

The University welcomed Ronald A. Crutcher, D.M.A., a national leader in higher education and a distinguished classical musician, who delivered the commencement address. Speaking to the crowd at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Crutcher addressed the many challenges facing the world today, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial reckoning, and economic disruption and political polarization. In combating these pervasive issues, he said, people with differing viewpoints must work together to effect positive change. “I know (these issues) are relatable to you and the state we are in as a society, which, in my opinion, can be perceived as a collective knee on all of our necks,” he stated. “All of you have the power to drive positive change and help our country live up to its promise of e pluribus unum — ‘out of many, one.’”

Two graduating students smile for the camera during the 2023 U N E commencement ceremony
faculty stand on the stage at the U N E 2023 commencement ceremony
A graduating student smiles for the camera while waiting to cross the stage at commencement
Commencement speaker Ronald A. Crutcher
A faculty member help a student put on their gown at commencement

Crutcher’s address dovetailed with UNE President James Herbert’s own remarks, which called for graduates to engage with people of differing viewpoints to foster inclusive, open discourse in tackling global challenges.

“Though it may be easier to associate with those who think like you, who vote like you, who share the same cultural background as you — if you step outside your comfort zone, you will be rewarded by a life that is endlessly more complex and enriching than it would be otherwise,” President Herbert told the graduates. “Your time at UNE has prepared you for that kind of life. It is my hope that you will carry the appreciation for these priorities into your professional and personal lives.”

Bonus Content: Experience the 2023 Commencement