Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Delivers Keynote Address
The following local residents graduated May 14 from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Tracy L. Golinveaux of Attleboro, MA, was awarded a Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering.
Jonathan Graziosi of Attleboro, MA, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Heather M. Trowbridge of Attleboro, MA, was awarded a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
Jacqueline Ciesynski of Pawtucket, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Timothy Robert Flynn of Pawtucket, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Robotics Engineering with Distinction.
Christine Anne Lima of Pawtucket, RI, was awarded a Master of Science degree in Biology and Biotechnology.
Eric Michael Camiel of Cumberland, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction.
Keith M. Cote of Cumberland, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Steven Richard Vessella of Lincoln, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Biotechnology with Distinction.
Alex Madigan Browning of Rumford, RI, was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction.
A total of 1,174 degrees (703 bachelor of science, 4 bachelor of arts, 446 master’s, and 21 PhDs) were awarded during the ceremony, which took place outdoors on the WPI Quadrangle. Thousands of students, their families and friends, trustees, and other special guests were on hand to experience the inspirational messages delivered by keynote speaker Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, and WPI President Dennis Berkey.
Honorary degrees were conferred upon Tillerson, BAE Systems President and CEO Linda Hudson, and Roberta Schaefer, founding executive director and president of Worcester Research Bureau.
In his Commencement address, Tillerson urged the graduates to do their part in promoting education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as doing so would “change lives for the better.” He told them they are entering a world in transition and change and that it will need their “vision, ingenuity, and innovations. Your skills-and how you apply them-have the potential to help our world build a bridge to a brighter future.”
The Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty Prize was also presented, for the fifth time, during WPI’s 2011 Commencement. The prize was established in 2007 through the personal philanthropy of Donald K. Peterson ’71, former chair of the WPI Board of Trustees. Current Board Chair Stephen E. Rubin ’74 is proud to continue the tradition. The award recognizes faculty members who, as true exemplars of the university’s highest aspirations and most important qualities, excel in all relevant areas of faculty performance. The prize, in the amount of $10,000, was awarded this year to WPI Physics Professor L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan.
President Berkey told graduates that they are well prepared to handle the world’s challenges. WPI is a community of “purposeful learners, world-class problem solvers, and thoughtful patrons of our planet,” he said. “Ask big and important questions, take bold strides, and do not retreat too far or too frequently into narrow channels. Use your intellectual power to its utmost.
“And do not go quietly,” Berkey continued. “Question everything, remembering and using the critical skills that you have developed in your courses and projects and in your debates with faculty and fellow students. Use your talents wisely-helping to address and resolve the major threats and opportunities in our world, turning the dreams of yesterday and hopes of today into a bright reality of tomorrow.”
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation’s first engineering and science universities. WPI’s 13 academic departments and School of Business 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 PhD degrees. WPI’s world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 25 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.