Big Papi delivers New England Tech commencement address

(Matthew Beltz/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Red Sox legend David Ortiz was in Providence Sunday morning to deliver the commencement speech for the New England Institute of Technology.

The gregarious slugger, who helped lead the Sox to three World Series Championships, also accepted his first honorary degree – a doctor of humane letters.

“Life is not based on how many times you fail,” Ortiz told the graduating seniors. “Life is not based on the people who tell you that you can’t. Life is based on what you feel that you are capable of doing.”

Reflecting on the ups and downs of his baseball career, he urged the students to tune out negativity.

More than 1,000 students received their degrees at the commencement ceremony, which began at 11 a.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center downtown.