In This Section

122nd Commencement at Thomas College

Saturday May 14, 1:00 p.m.

2016 Commencement

It is our privilege to share this important time in your life with you and your families. The Thomas community looks forward to this exciting time each year and the opportunity to make it a memorable one.

Events will begin on Friday evening, May 13, with Convocation, Class Reception, and Class Dinner. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 14, at 1:00 p.m. in the Alfond Athletic Center. Following the Commencement Ceremonies a reception will be held on the Ayotte Auditorium Lawn under the tent. Please join us in celebrating your graduate!

Please see the schedule for registration and more information about these events. After Commencement, graduate photos will be available for purchase through Central Maine Photography at

Information for students and their families are found by choosing the links to your area of interest.

Join us to celebrate the class of 2016!

Many of the gatherings during the weekend do not require registration to attend. We know it is an exciting time for you and your graduate, so please be sure to check the schedule, and register for events if required.

For those who are unable to attend our commencement, we will be live streaming the event.
Starting at 12:50 on May 14, 2016.

Your student will receive information about picking up their caps & gowns. The Campus Store offers additional graduation announcements for purchase to graduates and families. After Commencement, graduate photos will be available for purchase through Central Maine Photography at

Honors Convocation Speaker

Gary Goldman ’78, Trustee

Gary GoldmanGary Goldman graduated from Thomas College in 1978, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

As a Thomas student, Gary was a budding entrepreneur and launched his own landscaping company. Today, he owns several businesses in Massachusetts, including Gary S. Goldman & Associates where he provides business and management consulting services to the construction industry. He routinely serves as a professional speaker and trainer for educational seminars held by industry consultants and regularly contributes to industry journals about the many aspects of business management.

Gary also hosts a weekly radio talk show, “Business, Politics, & Lifestyles”, broadcasted on WCRN 830 AM from Boston/Worcester.  He currently serves on the board of the Disabled and Limbless Veterans of Massachusetts.

2016 Commencement Speakers, Honorary Degree Recipients, and Marshals

Commencement Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipient

Lawrence J. Sterrs

Larry SterrsThis year’s Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree recipient is Lawrence (Larry) J. Sterrs, former Chief Executive Officer of UniTek and its telecom subsidiary, UniTel, Inc.  In his current capacity as Board Chair for both companies, Larry provides executive management and strategic planning functions for UniTek’s consolidated telecommunications operations.

With over 44 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Larry began his career with Continental Telephone (ConTel) companies throughout the Northeast, holding a number of operational, legislative and regulatory positions in project, training, and operations management, progressing to Assistant Vice President with network design and planning responsibilities.

In 1991, Larry joined BerryDunn as Manager of Telecommunications Consulting.  He has served at the request of several Maine Governors on a variety of telecommunications issues, including Vice-Chair of the Maine Telecommunications Infrastructure Steering Committee, which created the ConnectME Authority.  He is a current board member and former president of the Telecommunications Association of Maine, and former Executive Vice President of the Telephone Association of New England.

Outside of the telecommunications industry, Larry is best known for his role as Board Chair and CEO of the Unity Foundation, a public charity that provides strategic grant making, executive and board development assistance to non-profit organizations throughout Maine.  Currently Board Chair of Waterville Creates! and board member of Camden National Corporation, Larry previously served on a number of boards of area non-profit organizations including Thomas College and Good Will-Hinckley.

Larry will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Honorary Degree Recipients

 Dr. George Spann, Ph.D.

George SpannDr. George Spann served as Thomas College president from 1989 to 2012, during which time the College prospered under his leadership with enrollment and program growth.  In 1999, Thomas launched its Guaranteed Job Program, the first college in the nation to do so.  In 2000 under George’s guidance, Thomas expanded its academic programming beyond its highly acclaimed business offerings, and today offers a full complement of additional academic offerings including Elementary Education, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science, with a number of new graduate and accelerated degree offerings.

From 2000 to 2012, the campus’ physical presence expanded exponentially, including the construction and openings of the Laurette Ayotte Auditorium, Bartlett and Townhouse residence halls, the Harold Alfond Athletic Center, Spann Student Commons, and the Kennebec Savings Bank turf field complex.  In 2007, the College had the foresight to purchase 50 additional acres to the south of the main campus to accommodate future expansion plans.

During his 23-year tenure, George stabilized the school’s finances, doubled student enrollment, broadened and strengthened academic programming, oversaw a building boom, and grew the College’s endowment to $6.5 million.

Dr. Spann will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Kathie Leonard

Kathie LeonardKathie Leonard is President and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing, Inc., a specialty textile maker with plants in Mechanic Falls and Auburn.  A leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of textile products of hundreds of extreme temperature industrial applications throughout the world, AMI employs approximately 50 people in the Lewiston-Auburn area.

Kathie began her career in textile manufacturing at the age of 22 when she took a job as an executive secretary at former fabric maker W.S. Libbey in Lewiston. Kathie realized the potential the market held for new heat-resistant fabrics, and in 1979, at the age of 27, she co-founded AMI.  In 2000, Kathie bought out her partner, becoming sole owner of the company.  A Thomas College Trustee from 1996-2005, in 2009 she was recognized as one of the six “Women to Watch” by Maine Biz.   

Kathie will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Business Administration.


2016 Class Speakers

2016 Class Marshals

Assisting the graduating class this year as marshals will be Taylor Bergeron from Lyman, ME, and Zahayra Razo from El Centro, California. Taylor will be graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Marketing. Zahayra graduated magna cum laude in December of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. Zahayra works in the Student Success Center as Thomas College’s Peer Tutoring Coordinator.

Thomas Scholars

Thomas College is proud to announce this year’s Thomas Scholars, Lisa Fairbanks and Levi Knapp. This award is presented in recognition of outstanding academic achievement at the undergraduate level. They will be recognized during Honors Convocation with a presentation of a red stole.