“Let nothing stand between you and what you can accomplish."
With the Rutgers Athletic Center nearly filled to capacity with proud families and friends, the School of Engineering celebrated the class of 2019 at a convocation ceremony on Friday, May 17. More than 950 engineering students were awarded Bachelor of Science degrees in ten majors. All Rutgers University-New Brunswick students had their degrees officially conferred at Rutgers University’s 253nd anniversary commencement held at High Point Stadium on Sunday, May 19.
With an estimated crowd of more than 5,000 family and friends looking on, School of Engineering dean Tom Farris congratulated the newest class of Rutgers engineers and commended them on their accomplishments.
“Treasure what you have gained here at Rutgers, the friendships you discovered, the knowledge you acquired, and the challenges you overcame,” said Farris, congratulating students on completing a challenging engineering program.
Rutgers Engineering alumnus Thomas Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon Company, was the event’s invited speaker. He was reminded of his own Rutgers graduation 42 years earlier with a degree in electrical engineering and as a member of the class of 1977. “I finally had a chance to relax,” he said.
In sharing some of his own background, he marveled how as the child of immigrant parents and first in his family to not only graduate college, but high school as well, was able to apply his Rutgers Engineering education to lead a $27 billion global technology company with 67,000 employees.
His trajectory, he said, was not unlike other CEOs who also hold engineering degrees. “For example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, GM’s Mary Barra; Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and IBM’s Ginni Rometty are all engineers,” said Kennedy.
“It was my engineering degree that opened up all sorts of doors for me and will open many doors for you,” he told graduates.
Student speaker Jessica Tuazon was selected by a panel of engineering students to deliver the convocation address. Tuazon, who is from Somerset, studied mechanical engineering with minors in mathematics and business administration. She was active on campus as the undergraduate student body vice president for Rutgers University-New Brunswick and was a member of the Engineering Governing Council and Engineering Honors Academy.
Tuazon’s remarks captured the capabilities Rutgers engineering students can bring to whatever field they pursue. “We’re all leaving here today to go on and solve the world’s problems…we’re going to be the people with solutions.” she said. “That’s what an engineering degree really means.”
Following the remarks, department chairs and Farris congratulated each graduate as their name was called and they proudly walked across the stage, becoming alumni of the School of Engineering.