ON SATURDAY, MAY 24, RPI BID goodbye to the 1,613 members of the Class of 2014. East Campus Athletic Village was host for the 208th Commencement exercises. It rained briefly during part of the ceremony, but was sunny for the picnic afterwards.
President Shirley Ann Jackson spoke about the importance of the technological and data driven society that we are moving towards. She went on to say that members of the Class of 2014 need to be active participants in this changing culture.
This year’s commencement speaker was IBM Chairman, President, and CEO Virginia Rometty. Rometty was also given an honorary engineering degree from RPI. She added to what President Jackson said by stating the importance of embracing the new data driven society.
Two additional honorary degrees were given to the so-called “father of the World Wide Web,” Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, and geneticist Mary-Claire King. King discussed the importance of being a scientist in today’s culture and roles that scientists play. Berners-Lee followed King by telling the new graduates that they should take the lessons they learned in their childhood and carry those lessons with them as they move on in their lives.
After the speakers, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies Dean Nieusma was recognized as this year’s recipient of the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award, an award given out annually by Phalanx Honors Society “to recognize a faculty member who has made an unusual contribution in the counseling of undergraduate students.” The J. Erik Jonsson Award, which honors the student with the highest academic record in the class, was awarded to Christina Caragine ’14. Other awards were given out.
The graduating class then walked up and across the stage by school and major to receive their degrees. Following the ceremony, the President’s Picnic for the Graduates was held by the Voorhees Computing Center, the Greene Building, and Russell Sage Labs.