Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis will be the keynote speaker for the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s spring undergraduate commencement, the school announced Sunday.

In a press release, UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan referred to Davis as “a symbol of strength” for his leadership during the Boston Marathon bombings.

Before becoming head of the Boston Police Department in 2006, Davis was superintendent of the Lowell Police Department for 12 years and helped reduce crime there by 60 percent, according to the university. Davis, a native of Lowell, holds criminal justice degrees from Southern New Hampshire University and Anna Maria College and completed a National Institute of Justice fellowship at Harvard University.

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The UMass Lowell commencement is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 18 at the Tsongas Center and 3,169 graduates are slated to receive degrees, according to the university.