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Harriette Chandler, M.A. ’63, Ph.D. ’73


President Angel, it is my honor to present Harriette Chandler, Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader and an esteemed alumna of Clark University.

Senator Chandler, in a 22-year career on Beacon Hill, you have worked tirelessly to give voice to those who often go unheard, their needs ignored. Your staunch advocacy in the areas of health care reform, veterans’ issues, housing, civil rights, and fair treatment of women has helped improve the lives of thousands in Massachusetts.

You earned master’s and doctorate degrees at Clark, and entered politics as a member of the Worcester School Committee because you wanted better schools for the city’s children. You went on to earn a seat as state representative to widen the scope of your efforts, then made history as the first woman elected state senator from Worcester. Last year, you were named Senate Majority Leader, making you the second highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, a reflection of your colleagues’ appreciation for your intellect, your tenacity, your compassion, and your sound judgment.

Each spring you host Clark University’s Family Impact Seminar at the State House. These seminars feature scholars and other experts who illuminate medical and social issues impacting Massachusetts families, like the opioid epidemic, men’s health, and the factors that place children at risk. Thanks largely to your enthusiastic support, the seminars attract legislators and other policy influencers to these important discussions.

Senator Chandler, you are that rare legislator who leads effectively with both head and heart to ensure that the common good is served.

Mr. President, on behalf of the Trustees, faculty, students, and staff of Clark University, I request that the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, be conferred on Senator Harriette Chandler.