Congratulations Massachusetts Class of 2014

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(Caption: Happy Graduates of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 9, 2014)

Congratulations to the Class of 2014 graduates in colleges and universities across Massachusetts. The entire state is aglow with jubilant students, proud parents and satisfied teachers. Everywhere you turn there are commencement ceremonies, caps flung in the air and stories of eager grads ready to take on the world.

This year’s commencement speakers have ranged from public leaders like Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, to tennis great Billie Jean King, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and comedian Jay Leno. Here is a list of 2014 Commencement Speakers in Massachusetts, published by

Massachusetts prides itself as a bastion of outstanding colleges and universities, medical centers and research facilities that attract students from around the world. With over 110 public and private colleges and universities, Massachusetts’ educational traditions date back to 1636 when Harvard University became the first established university in the Thirteen Colonies.

Today, nearly 40% of Massachusetts residents have a college degree, giving it the highest percentage of college graduates in the nation, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM) reports Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in percentage of students graduating from independent colleges in four years. Independent schools have a $25 billion annual economic impact on Massachusetts.

In addition, Massachusetts serves about 260,000 students at 29 public schools, divided into three segments: 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses.  Here is a full list of Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities.

In FY 2008, Governor Patrick and the Legislature obtained passage of a $2.2 billion higher education bond bill as part of the Governor’s 10-year education reform initiative. By FY14 the Commonwealth ranked among the top five states in the nation in the year-to-year increase in the state appropriation for public campuses, Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Ma Higher Education, reported recently.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has compiled a list of all colleges and universities in Massachusetts, separated by region. You’ll find information about the schools, and also valuable information about local transportation, seasonal activities, and special events that give you a flavor of each school. It’s a great resource for parents making their first trip to Massachusetts to explore potential colleges and universities for their children.