Campus News News

Commencement Speakers Chosen

Jimmy Kelley

Sports Editor

Graduates of the class of 2012 will be sent off into the world with the blessing of one of the Ivy League’s finest. Harvard football coach and Springfield College graduate Tim Murphy ‘78 will be this year’s undergraduate commencement speaker.

Murphy, who obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Springfield, has been the head coach at the Ivy League institution for 19 seasons, and his 120 wins rank first in the school’s history. Murphy was a four-year starter for Springfield and earned All-New England honors as a senior in 1977.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be the Commencement speaker and look forward to speaking to the Springfield College Class of 2012,” said coach Murphy. “I will return to campus with a fair dose of pride and humility.”

Murphy has been one of the most respected coaches in the sport and was named the president of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 2012. He has had several NFL players come out of his program, namely All-Pro lineman Matt Birk and Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Prior to his move to Cambridge, Murphy served as the head coach at both the University of Maine and the University of Cincinnati, leading both programs to their best seasons to that point. His hiring at Cincinnati in 1989 made him the youngest head coach in Division I at just 32 years old.

The commencement speaker for the graduate students will be Charles H. Rucks, Esq. of Springfield. Rucks has dedicated his life to improving the quality of both life and housing in the city he calls home.

Rucks has been working to create sustainable home ownership opportunities to the residents of distressed neighborhoods and was selected to represent 220 agencies as a participant at the White House Conference on Minority Homeownership earlier this year.

Prior to this capacity, Rucks served the Urban League of Springfield Inc. as senior vice president, as he managed and planned the formulation of a community development corporation to empower residents of the city. This corporation served to give residents the tools to redress their economic and social issues.

Rucks graduated from the United States Naval Academy before receiving a master of business administration from Cornell University and a juris doctor from Western New England College School of Law. Rucks also served in the U.S. Marines where he worked all over the globe as a staff secretary, executive officer, company commander and operations officer to name a few.

Graduate commencement will be held on Saturday, May 12, at 9:30 a.m. on Naismith Green, while undergraduate commencement will take place the following day at 9:30 a.m. at the Mass Mutual Center.

Jimmy Kelley may be reached at

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