Welcoming the new School of Engineering students to Rutgers is a tradition that takes place each September on the Busch campus. On September 11, the class of 2018 gathered under a tent on the Engineering Quad to hear encouraging words from Dean Tom Farris and other members of the SoE community and to take the Rutgers Engineering Pledge, officially launching their Rutgers engineering careers.
This first-year class has the distinction of being the 150th class to study engineering at Rutgers. In 1864, on the heels of the Industrial Revolution, seven students enrolled in the inaugural engineering program which was primarily a civil engineering curriculum. The class of 2018 is 772 strong, the largest in the school’s history, and is comprised of 91 international students and 33 students from 19 states besides New Jersey. This class also boasts 191 women, or 25% of the total first-year enrollment—another all-time high for the school.
Special guest speaker for the event was Nicholas Paraskevopoulos, Ph.D., an alumnus of the School of Engineering earning both his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and currently serving as the vice president of advanced maritime and integrated air and missile defense for the Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division of the Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is also a member of School of Engineering’s Industry Advisory Board.
In giving students advice for their time at Rutgers and in their careers, Paraskevopoulos stressed three things: It’s okay to not know something or change your mind; work hard and strive to be great; and it’s okay to be wrong or make a mistake.
“Mistakes don’t wreck your career, failures wreck your career. What’s a failure? A mistake you did not learn from,” he said.
The entire SoE community joined the first-year students for a barbecue lunch and cupcakes in celebration of the school's 150th anniversary.