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Len and Cherylann Gengel awarded honorary degrees

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Published on Jun 1, 2014

Cherylann and Leonard Gengel were awarded honorary degrees at UMass Worcester's June 1 Commencement, they accepted in loving tribute to their late daughter, Britney, who inspired them to build an orphanage in Haiti, for the "poorest of the poor."

"To be recognized and honored, we are humbled but we're also very proud of Britney," said Len Gengel, whose 19-year-old daughter was killed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while volunteering with an aide group from her school, Lynn University. "We grew up in Worcester, and to have such a great institution honor us, but really honor Be Like Brit and the memory of our daughter, we feel very blessed."

Chancellor Michael F. Collins honored the Gengels, U.S. Rep. James McGovern and H. Brownell Wheeler, MD, the Harry M. Haidak Distinguished Professor emeritus and founding chair of the department of surgery at UMass Medical School, during Commencement 2014 ceremonies.

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