The Greenway’s Chris Cook to Speak at 2023 Graduation

May 22, 2023


News & Press, Boston

Community Builder and Leader of Visionary Public Spaces to Address Graduates at America’s First Trade School

Chris Cook of the Greenway
Image courtesy The Greenway

North Bennet Street School is proud to announce Chris Cook, Executive Director of The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, as the keynote speaker for its 2023 Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will take place on June 2, 2023, at the historic Old North Church in Boston’s North End neighborhood.

Cook has been instrumental in building strategies and programs for the contemporary public park in the heart of Boston. Under his leadership the last two years, The Greenway has been a life force for the City, helping to beautify the downtown, foster community, and create opportunity through its engaging landscapes, public art projects, artisan markets, food trucks, special events, and more. Today, The Greenway welcomes millions of visitors annually to explore, gather, play, and unwind.

“Chris Cook is a thoughtful visionary leader with a transformative impact on the city of Boston,” said NBSS President Sarah Turner. “His commitment to access, collaboration, and community engagement embodies the values that we instill in our students at North Bennet Street School. Particularly now, The Greenway is a prime example of how Boston can rethink and re-open access and energy in the center of the City. This is what’s possible when you possess the courage and drive to improve your city, your world,” she shares. “We are thrilled to have him as our 2023 Commencement Speaker.”

In addition to his work at The Greenway, Cook brings a wealth of experience in community building and public service to his role as Commencement Speaker. He previously served as Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston and worked on educational initiatives for Boston Public Schools.

“I am honored to address the graduates of North Bennet Street School, an institution that has played a vital role in preserving and promoting traditional crafts for over a century,” said Cook. “As we look to the future, we must continue to support the arts and the skilled trades, which are essential to our cultural and economic vitality. It is a critical time to support organizations like North Bennet, whose graduates are crucial to creating a sense of connection within our communities.”

The School’s 2023 Commencement will see a cohort of nearly 100 new crafts- and tradespeople join a community of over 3,0000 NBSS alumni located around the world. The event is closed to the public, but a livestream will be available via YouTube.

About North Bennet Street School
As America’s first trade school, North Bennet Street School ( is internationally known for its programs and for helping students to achieve meaningful lives and livelihoods.  For more than a century, the exceptional institution and its inspiring community have encouraged individual growth, curiosity, and commitment to excellence. 

NBSS offers career training in Bookbinding, Carpentry, Cabinet & Furniture Making, Jewelry Making & Repair, Locksmithing & Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry, and Violin Making & Repair. The School provides short-term classes and public programs in a range of craft and trade disciplines. The School maintains a sprawling 64,000 sf facility in Boston’s historic North End, the community in which it was originally founded in 1881.

About The Greenway and the Greenway Conservancy
The Greenway is a contemporary public park in the heart of Boston. The Greenway welcomes millions of visitors annually to gather, play, unwind, and explore. The Greenway Conservancy is the non-profit responsible for the management and care of The Greenway. The majority of the public park’s annual budget is generously provided by private sources.

Additional Materials
NBSS 2023 Graduation Press Release
NBSS Media Kit