Spirituality stressed; DesLauriers addresses Assumption grads.


Byline: Mark Sullivan

The following correction was published in the Telegram & Gazette on May 13, 2013:

A photo in the Sunday Telegram showed Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo speaking at the Assumption commencement Saturday. Because of an editor's error, he was misidentified in the caption as Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston field division. DesLauriers was a commencement speaker.


WORCESTER - The FBI agent who led the investigation into the Boston marathon bombing received a standing ovation at Assumption College's commencement exercises on Saturday.

Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston field division and a 1982 Assumption graduate returned to his alma mater to deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

When Mr. DesLaurier's role in bringing the alleged marathon bombers to justice was mentioned during his honorary-degree citation, the 605 graduates and thousands of guests assembled under a tent on the college's H.L. Rocheleau Field rose to cheer and applaud.

As chief of the FBI's Boston branch, Mr. DesLauriers also has played a lead role in investigating the $500 million art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and announced the arrest of one of the most wanted fugitives in U.S. history, reputed mobster James "Whitey" Bulger.

Mr. DesLauriers said his Assumption education taught him the value of a moral compass, which he said is "absolutely essential" to success in work and life.

"Possessing a moral compass is as vitally important today as it was when I graduated from Assumption College 31 years ago," he said, "especially in a world which today so often appears morally agnostic, and where clear lines differentiating right from wrong are frequently blurred by greed, pride, envy, and any of the other `seven deadly sins.'"

"Each and every FBI agent needs to be guided by a moral compass which directs them on a daily basis to act in a manner which honors the three words for which the letters FBI stand: Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity."

He credited the liberal arts education he received at Assumption with teaching him to "think logically and in a reasoned and analytical manner" by exposing him to the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. He said the college honed the writing skills he has needed to compose the detailed and accurate investigative reports required of an FBI agent.

Mr. DesLauriers urged graduates, whatever their faith tradition, to maintain their spirituality. "As each of us walks down the road of life, know that we are not merely human beings on a spiritual journey, but we are truly spiritual beings on a human journey," he said.

The threat of rain didn't dampen spirits at the commencement exercises, the 96th held by the Catholic liberal arts college founded by...

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