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Start Spreading the NewsMembers of the local and national media came to the Medford/Somerville campus on May 20 to cover Tufts' 151st Commencement, which featured New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.21.07] A little rain didn't dampen spirits at Tufts University's 151st Commencement ceremonies on May 20, nor did it deter local and national reporters, photographers and camera crews from covering the event. The heavy representation from the New York media was due to this year's commencement speaker, New York City Mayor, businessman, philanthropist and Medford native Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, the New York Daily News reported, gave "a speech sprinkled with self-deprecating wisecracks and pop culture savvy." It also contained nuggets of professional wisdom and numerous references to his mother, who still lives in his hometown and attended the ceremony.

The mayor shared a sincere message with all graduates, touting the value of risk-taking, teamwork, straight talk, respect and public service.

"Bloomberg urged the graduates on a soggy morning to take risks," the Associated Press reported. "He recalled his biggest: the day after he was fired from a Wall Street firm, he founded his namesake media company, Bloomberg LP, one of the world's largest providers of financial data, news and trading systems to the financial services industry."

Student reception to Bloomberg's speech was warm—a standing ovation—although some New Yorkers in the audience were hoping for a more personal touch.

"I love him, but I wish he made a shout out to us," Dana Yoo told the Globe. The Queens native earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering and is a New York public schools graduate.

With Bloomberg's presidential aspirations the subject of intense speculation, the lack of a major political announcement in the mayor's address did not go unnoted.

"Mayor Bloomberg returned to his New England hometown yesterday to deliver a big speech—but not the one his supporters hope he'll make someday soon," wrote the New York Daily News.

As for one of Bloomberg's biggest supporters—his mother—she sat in the front row to hear her son speak.

"The local boy, a product of a Medford bookkeeper and dairy farmer, made it seem like Mother's Day had returned to Medford," The Boston Globe reported. "The founder of the business news service that bears his name mentioned his mother, Charlotte, repeatedly in his 20-minute speech to the more than 2,100 graduates…After the mayor slipped off the stage, his mother finally left her seat. She then did what any other proud mother would do: She gave her son a hug."

Bloomberg's appearance at Tufts is one stop in the mayor's recent travels, during which he has delivered policy speeches and commencement addresses around the country.

"He will address students at the College of Staten Island and at Bard College later this week," the New York Sun reported.

After the main event on the Academic Quad, schools and departments gathered for their individual ceremonies. At the commencement for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine on Tufts' Grafton, Mass., campus, Dean Deborah T. Kochevar hailed the 81 graduates as "motivated and dedicated women and men."

"Commencement day, without exception, is the happiest day for a dean," she added, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Veterinary school graduate Sarah Courchesne delivered the student address, but not without a unique footnote. Just four days before Commencement, she gave birth to a 7-pound, 3-ounce baby boy.

"Ms. Courchesne said her classmates clearly had a sense of humor, or some sort of wish for an obstetrical incident, when they chose her to crystallize the entire experience of veterinary medicine on behalf of the class, just two days before her May 22 due date," the Telegram & Gazette reported.

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