Fourteen Locals Graduate from Worcester Polytech

More of our area's graduates...

On Saturday, May 13, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, over 1,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded during the university's 149th commencement ceremony.

  • Austin Higgins of Brewster, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering with high distinction.
  • Kyle Bessette of South Chatham, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry.
  • Rebecca German of Sandwich, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biology and biotechnology.
  • Reed Maxim of Forestdale, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biology and biotechnology.
  • Whitney Hazard of Forestdale, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biology and biotechnology with distinction.
  • Benjamin Duncan of Falmouth, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering with high distinction.
  • Tyler Bennett of Marstons Mills, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in computer science with distinction.
  • Zachary Robbins of Yarmouth Port, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in computer science with high distinction.
  • Matthew Barreiro of West Hyannisport, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering.
  • Kevin Farr of Yarmouth Port, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering.
  • Nicole Mikolajczak of East Falmouth, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering with distinction.
  • Nathan Peterson of Mashpee, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering with distinction.
  • Keaton Goddard of Nantucket, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering with high distinction.
  • Adam Huber of Brewster, Mass., was awarded a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering with high distinction.

This year's undergraduate address was given by Rodney Brooks, chairman and chief technology officer of Rethink Robotics. He urged them "to focus on three nouns: compassion, contribution, and community" as they chart their course through life, and to be open to the ability of others to enrich their lives in unexpected ways. He asked students to always look for ways to contribute and to maintain their WPI community connections while also continually building new communities through their work and other interests. "Don't scrimp on community," he said.

During the ceremony, Brooks received an honorary doctor of science degree, and Donald Peterson '71, a longtime member and former chairman of the university's Board of Trustees, received an honorary doctor of engineering degree.

WPI president Laurie Leshin, in her remarks to the class of 2017, congratulated the students for their accomplishments and for making the journey that "takes many twists and turns. Leshin concluded her remarks with a challenge to the students was to not only do well in their careers and for their families, but to do good throughout their lives.

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 Projects Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.


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