Duke University awarded degrees to 523 undergraduate and graduate engineering students on May 10 in ceremonies beginning with a university-wide commencement celebration in Wallace Wade Stadium and ending with a Pratt School of Engineering ceremony in Duke Chapel.
Pratt Dean Tom Katsouleas gave Bachelor of Science in Engineering diplomas to 279 students, including 12 who completed their work in December and one last September, before a crowd of parents, relatives and friends in the Chapel.
Pratt also awarded 126 Master of Engineering Management degrees during a later ceremony. The university's Graduate School presented Doctor of Philosophy degrees to 50 engineers and an additional 68 Master of Science degrees to Pratt engineers.
“These students before you – these engineers I should say – truly embody the best of a Duke education,” Katsouleas told the commencement crowd. “Dedicated, creative, scary smart, and prepared, these graduates are going to change the world. Indeed many of them have already begun to do so.
“The world more than ever is looking for engineers to innovate us out of a global recession, to problem-solve a sustainable planet, to protect us from harm and to bring us joy. What a time to be graduating!”
In concluding the ceremonies, Katsouleas told the new engineers:
“I don’t need to exhort you to make Duke proud – you already have and always will. For the rest of your life, you will be valued members of the family of Duke Engineering Alumni. Let me conclude with a request. Many of you have benefited from mentoring by former students and alumni. I hope that as you go forward and establish your own careers, you remember to come back and be those mentors for the next generation. Ladies and gentlemen would you please join me in congratulating the Masters and PhD graduates of the Pratt School of Engineering 2009.”
In all, Duke awarded more than 4,400 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees during commencement 2009 in Wallace Wade Stadium. Under sunny skies and dressed in traditional caps and gowns, the graduates were seated on the football field according to their degree programs.
Duke President Richard H. Brodhead presided at the 10 a.m. exercise. Media entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey delivered the commencement address. Honorary degrees were granted to Winfrey, economist-educator Susan Athey, Nobel geneticists Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein (a team who will receive one degree), higher education leader James Moeser, Nobel chemist Mario Molina, business executive Indra Nooyi and pianist Murray Perahia.
In her address, Winfrey encouraged students to make a difference. "You really haven't completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That's the truth. Move to higher ground. That's the real goal. How do you get someone else to move to higher ground."
Many engineering graduates received special prizes and awards:
The Walter J. Seeley Scholastic Award (Presented to the student who has achieved the highest scholastic average in all subjects, and who has shown diligence in pursuit of an engineering education.):
Nigel Shiijie Chou, Singapore
Kathleen Marie Murphy, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Daniel Adam Roberts, Melville, N.Y.
The da Vinci Award (Presented to the biomedical engineering student with the most outstanding academic record as determined by a faculty committee.):
Nigel Shijie Chou, Signapore
Kathleen Marie Murphy, Bloomfield, Mich.
The Helmholtz Award (Presented to graduating senior who presents the best research project as judged by the departmental faculty.):
Stephen Jacob DeVience, Chicago
The Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science Faculty Award (Presented to the graduating mechanical engineering senior who has attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects.):
Ivan Wang, Vernon Hills, Ill.
Student Service Award . (Given to the graduating senior who, by his or her contributions of time, effort and spirit, has significantly benefited the community of the Pratt School of Engineering.):
Yuanlong Du, Orlando, Fla.
Alexander Huntington Gorham, Orchard Park, N.Y
The Otto Meier, Jr. Tau Beta Pi Award . (Given to the graduating Tau Beta Pi member who symbolized best the distinguished scholarship and exemplary character required for membership.):
Irem Mertol, Cupertino, Calif
The William Brewster Snow Environmental Engineering Award (Presented to a senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, interest and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering.):
Samantha Elise Beardsley, Columbia, S.C.
The American Society of Civil Engineers Prize (Awarded to outstanding seniors in civil engineering on the recommendation of the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.):
Jessica Leigh Barlow, Mountain Lakes, N.J.
Lauren Beth Lewis, Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Aubrey E. Palmer Award (Presented to a civil engineering senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.):
Samantha Elise Beardsley, Columbia, S.C.
The Eric I. Pas Award (Presented to graduating civil engineering seniors judged by the faculty to have conducted the most outstanding independent study project.):
Aaron Lee, Brentwood, Tenn.
Chloe Maria Mawer, Houston, Tex.
Lindsay Ann Rawot, Bentleyville, Ohio
The George Sherrerd III Memorial Award in Electrical Engineering (Awarded to seniors in electrical engineering who, in the opinion of the faculty, have attained the highest level of scholastic achievement in all subjects and who have rendered significant service to the School of Engineering and the university.):
Daniel Adam Roberts, Melville, N.Y.
The Charles Seager Memorial Award (Recognizes outstanding achievement in the annual Student Prize Paper Contest of the Duke branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or significant contributions to electrical engineering.):
Daniel Adam Roberts, Melville N.Y.
The David Randall Fuller Prize (Presented to the graduating electrical engineering senior who has shown the most improvement in academic performance over the first three years.):
Aneesh Ramesh Butani, Deira, Dubai
Matthew Vincent Harte, Wyckoff, N.J.
The Pi Tau Sigma Scholarship Award (Presented to an outstanding senior in mechanical engineering on the basis of academic excellence, engineering ability and leadership as judged by a faculty committee.):
James Colin Montupet, St. Louis
The Theo Pilkington Memorial Award (Given in recognition of outstanding perseverance and accomplishment in the study of biomedical engineering.)
Whitney Louise Stewart, Virginia Beach, Va.
The Charles Rowe Vail Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (Recognizes the most outstanding teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.):
Kevin James Brown, Dallas
Students graduating with departmental distinction:
Brian Nicholas Arnold, * Nigel Shijie Chou, * Stephen Jacob DeVience, Adam Joseph Dixon, Alexander Huntington Gorham, Benjamin David Grant, Antonia Rose Helbling, *Enping Hong, Hyun-Joong Kim, Daniel Hunter Klein, Mary Ellen Irene Koran, Yang Li, Kun Liang, David Dayu Liu, Syrone Liu, Irem Mertol, Jessica Adele Munn, Amy Elizabeth Munnelly, Sahil Pankaj Patel, * Ian Daniel Peikon, Feini Qu, Albert Joseph Rogers, Christopher Ryan Rowland, Junren Sia, Di Sun, Andrew T. Tutt, David Allen Wang, Andrew Warren Winslow, Duo Xu, Lin Yang, Tianhe Zhang.
Students with an * received the Howard G. Clark Award as well.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Samantha Elise Beardsley, Alexander Thomas Brehm, Philip Scott Harvey, Jr., Aaron Lee, Chlo Maria Mawer, Nicholas Michael Millar, Lindsay Ann Rawot, Jessica Ann Toy, Lauren Elisabeth Wessel
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Douglas William Bycoff, Tawanda Caesars Chaunzwa, Shi Gu, Joseph Toshiro Meyerowitz, Jonathan Lawrence Odom, Daniel Adam Roberts, Pantana Tor-ngern
Kathryn Marie Dankovich, Matthew Aaron Kligerman, Adam Lee Nelson, Ivan Wang