Wichita: (readMedia)– The largest graduating class in WPI’s history, 1,680 students, received their degrees beneath a large, billowing tent that shielded graduates and well-wishers from the sun that occasionally peeked from behind generally cloudy skies. In all, the Institute awarded 956 bachelor’s degrees, 682 master’s degrees, and 42 PhDs during its 147th Commencement exercises.
Elisa Rosales of Wichita, Kan., was awarded a master of science degree in applied statistics.
Thousands gathered to hear messages delivered by WPI President Laurie A. Leshin; Class of 2015 speaker Roman Gutierrez, and keynote speaker Bernard A. Harris Jr., M.D., an astronaut who became the first African American to walk in space, and who went on to become the founder and president of the Harris Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “empower individuals, in particular minorities and others who are economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.”
Honorary degrees were conferred upon Dr. Harris; Ellen S. Dunlap, president of the American Antiquarian Society, and Judith Nitsch ’75, founding principal of Nitsch Engineering and WPI trustee emerita.
The Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty Prize was presented to Kathi Fisler, PhD, professor of computer science and director of the WPI Cybersecurity Program. The prize, established in 2007 through the personal philanthropy of Donald K. Peterson ’71, former chair of the WPI Board of Trustees, recognizes faculty members who excel in all relevant areas of faculty performance.
In her remarks, Leshin told the graduates, “Each of you – every young woman and young man in front of me – has the capacity, the knowledge, and the opportunity to make an impact.”
Leshin also advised them, ” … don’t only see the opportunities ahead, but see the responsibilities, as well. In other words, leverage what you’ve achieved here not just to do well, but to do good. Use your degree to make us proud.”
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.
NOTE: You are receiving this press release because the student or their parents are from your area. This press release above was prepared for: Editor – Rural Messenger.