WORCESTER, MA (06/05/2019)-- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) President Laurie Leshin and Board of Trustees Chairman Jack Mollen presided over the university's 151st Commencement celebration, awarding over 850 master's and doctoral degrees at the Graduate Ceremony, held on the campus Quadrangle.
This year's graduate address was given by Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
In his remarks, Hrabowski expressed his excitement at being asked by his longtime friend, Laurie Leshin, to speak at WPI's graduate commencement. "I've been watching the progress of WPI for a long time," he said. "You're a national leader in project-based learning, and you're the alma mater of Robert Goddard. In my area, that's a big deal."
WPI awarded honorary degrees to Hrabowski and to Kevin O'Sullivan, who recently retired as president and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives.
In her remarks, President Leshin congratulated the Class of 2019 for "enduring stress, overcoming setbacks, and pushing boundaries." As students leave campus with a degree, Leshin said she anticipates they will continue to "break barriers and open new doors."
Graduate student speaker Doreen Manning then gave her remarks. Manning, who received her master's of business administration, told her fellow graduates that she took an indirect route since "earning a master's degree had simply not been on my career radar."
Manning said her worldview is different now.
"So as I leave the podium today, I will do so not only with a diploma, but with new insights into myself and my role within the world," Manning said. "Yet even more important, when I meet with alumni in my position as editor of the WPI Journal, I get to tell them, with pride, 'I'm an alum, too!' "
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
WPI, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI's pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more. www.wpi.edu