PITTSFIELD -- Congressman Richard Neal will serve as the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College’s 54th commencement exercises to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

"Congressman Neal serves an important role in Berkshire County and the Commonwealth," said President Ellen Kennedy. "His commitment to education and academic excellence, coupled with his teaching experience, will resonate with our graduates in a very unique way. Congressman Neal began his college career at a Massachusetts community college, he exemplifies the possibilities and opportunities our students can pursue."

Neal was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988. He represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.

He currently serves as a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee and the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. He also serves as the dean of both the Massachusetts delegation and the New England delegation in the House of Representatives and is a member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

He is an at-large whip for the House Democrats. Neal is also a co-chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus, where he advocates for the unique regional interests of the six New England states.

For more than three decades, Congressman Neal has been recognized as a leader in the effort to bring lasting peace, justice and reconciliation to Ireland.


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He’s the democratic leader of the Friends of Ireland Caucus.

Earlier in his political career, Neal served on the Springfield City Council and was later elected mayor of Springfield.

Originally from Worcester, Neal was raised in Springfield and attended Holyoke Community College after graduating from high school. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from American International College and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford.

Neal is a member of the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees, is a national trustee of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. He is also a long-time guest lecturer at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

He resides in Springfield with his wife, Maureen. They have four children.

For more details on BCC’s commencement program, visit berkshirecc.edu/commencement.