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.
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.