Bristol Community College has announced its 2014 Commencement honorees to be recognized at this year’s graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 31, at the BCC Fall River Campus.
The College will award the honorary associate degree in humane letters to Chief Justice Phillip Rapoza and former mayor of Fall River Carlton M. Viveiros.
The Honorable Phillip Rapoza of Dartmouth is the chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Prior to serving on the bench, he was an assistant district attorney in Suffolk and Bristol counties and was a partner in law firms in Fall River and New Bedford. He was appointed to the bench in 1992 to serve as a trial judge in Fall River and for the Massachusetts Superior Court. He was appointed to the Appeals Court in 1998 and named Chief Justice in 2006. In addition to his state judicial service, he is a leader in international criminal justice, and he was been involved in a number of international legal initiatives. Chief Justice Rapoza has served on two United Nations-backed war crimes tribunals. He has received a number of awards and commendations for his international work.
The Honorable Carlton M. Viveiros is Clerk/Magistrate of the Southeastern Housing Court. He is the longest serving mayor in Fall River history and achieved many awards and accomplishments as mayor. He focused on fiscal responsibility and business support, establishing the Office of Economic Development and crafting a $40 million revitalization effort in partnership with the public and private sector. He also served in a variety of other positions, including state representative and in leadership for the state Democratic Party.
Dr. David S. Greer and Mrs. Marion C. Greer will each receive the John J. Sbrega, Ph.D., Exemplary Service Award, established by the Board of Trustees to recognize a College volunteer for outstanding contributions to the college.
While they are married to each other, Dr. and Mrs. Greer were chosen as individual recipients for their long history of service to the College.
Mrs. Greer was appointed to the College’s Board of Trustees in 1984, and she served as a trustee for 10 years. She was already an active community volunteer, but she chose to commit her attention to furthering higher education in the region because, as she said at her appointment, education is vital to the growth of the community.
Dr. Greer was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1995. An accomplished and world-renowned physician, he too valued the role of the community college in his city. He was Dean of Medicine at Brown University, and he pioneered the study of gerontology (aging.) He chaired the Presidential Search Committee in 1999-2000.
The College’s Distinguished Citizen award is given this year to State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues.
Elected to the State Senate in 2010 after 14 years as a state representative, Senator Rodrigues has taken higher education and the environment as chief causes, as well as small business development and government reform.