University of Southern Maine to celebrate 144th Commencement on May 4th



Press contact:

Daniel Hartill, USM Communications and Media Relations Specialist,, 207-780-4744 / 207-333-9910 (cell)

University of Southern Maine to celebrate 144th Commencement on May 4th

The University of Southern Maine will celebrate its 144th Commencement on Saturday, May 4th with more than 1,000 graduates scheduled to participate.

The event, scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, will feature remarks by University President Jacqueline Edmondson and addresses from student speaker Hamido Hassan and featured speaker Tom Caron, a well-known sportscaster and a native of Lewiston, Maine. The University will also confer an honorary degree to Lyndel J. “Joe” Wishcamper, who has had a successful career of developing affordable housing across the country.

The University of Southern Maine’s commencement ceremony is the culminating event on the academic calendar, giving the opportunity for individual recognition to every graduating student who wishes to participate. In all, more than 1,600 students will be eligible to participate. 

*** Members of the press who wish to attend are asked to bring their credentials and to reach out to Public Relations Associate Lindsay Tice upon their arrival. She can be reached at (207) 838-8087. ***



Tom Caron has been a broadcaster at the New England Sports Network since 1995, serving as host of the network’s Red Sox coverage since 2004. Prior to that Caron was Red Sox sideline reporter and Boston Bruins studio host. He has been the play-by-play voice of the Beanpot for the past 18 years and the Hockey East championships for 26 seasons.

Prior to NESN, Caron was the play-by-play voice of the Portland Pirates of the AHL and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2014. He also served as a sports anchor for five years at WGME-TV, Channel 13 in Portland.

A 12-time New England Emmy Award winner, Caron was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in September of 2021. He has been named New England’s favorite local TV sports personality and sports reporter in Channel Media and Market Research’s NE Sports Survey 12 times.

A native of Lewiston, Caron sits on the boards of the Dempsey Center Foundation, the Mass Mentoring Partnership, the MetroWest YMCA, and the Sports Museum.

Lyndel J. “Joe” Wishcamper has a long and distinguished career in affordable housing, having entered the industry in 1970. He has been an owner/developer of over 15,000 units of affordable housing throughout the country.

He is the president and sole owner of The Wishcamper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates, and is also a non-executive partner in a number of other affordable housing development companies.

He has a long history of community involvement, having chaired a number of non-profit boards including those of the University of Maine System, The Nature Conservancy (Maine chapter) and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. 

Joe is dedicated to the well being of the residents of the properties with which he is involved. He and his wife founded Springboard to Opportunity, a vibrant nonprofit company with a mission of assisting low income families to achieve success in school, work and life.

Joe is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Joe and his wife, Carol, have been married for 58 years, have two grown children, and reside in Maine.

Hamido Hassan, who will be graduating with her master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health, will deliver the student address. Born in a Kenyan refugee camp to Somali parents, Hassan immigrated to the United States when she was six years old and settled in the Somali community in Lewiston, Maine.

After growing up in Lewiston, she originally wanted a career as a pastry chef. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Baking Pastry Arts from Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts. She had begun work when COVID hit. “It changed my whole career path,” Hassan said. “My job shut down. I moved back here. I wanted to go into a career where I felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives. I also wanted to give back in some way to the community that helped raise me.”

In 2023, Hassan earned her bachelor’s degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. As a worker and an intern with a local agency, she has enjoyed the opportunity to help people. “I want to honor the community that’s helped me, teachers and mentors and supervisors,” she said. “I want to be that person for other people.”