Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Scott Pioli, a long-time NFL executive, will deliver commencement remarks at Central Connecticut State University’s (CCSU) two ceremonies on Saturday, May 18. More than 2,800 graduate and undergraduate degrees will be conferred during the morning and afternoon ceremonies, which will be held at the XL Center in Hartford.

Governor Lamont will address the who are students receiving graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Engineering, Science, & Technology during the morning ceremony, beginning at 9 a.m.

Elected as Connecticut’s 89th governor last November, Lamont holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Harvard College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Since 2006, he has been a familiar face on the CCSU campus as a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Philosophy and as an adjunct lecturer in the Ammon College.

Scott Pioli, assistant general manager for the Atlanta Falcons, will be the featured speaker during the 3 p.m. ceremony at which the School of Business and School of Education & Professional Studies degrees will be presented. Pioli, who earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at CCSU in 1988, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Pioli’s 26-year NFL career includes a long list of awards and accomplishments. For New England fans, his most notable milestone may be the Patriots’ three Super Bowl wins in a four-year period when Pioli was Vice President of Player Personnel. His leadership extends well beyond the gridiron as an advocate for education, equality, and the arts through his involvement in a number of philanthropic and community initiatives.

As the first member of his family to pursue higher education, Pioli founded a number of scholarships geared toward first-generation college students. He and his family also created endowed funds with Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation for women who aspire to be football coaches or scouts and a Historically Black Colleges and Universities scholarship for members of Women Leaders in College Sports. 

He serves on the Board of Directors for the Black College Football Hall of Fame; Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality; Women’s Sports Foundation, The Alliance Theater, Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City; and College for Every Student (CFES), a nonprofit that helps underserved youth prepare for and succeed in higher education.

The speakers’ full biographies and additional commencement information are posted at