Congratulations Class of 2020

Northwestern University celebrated its 162nd Commencement on Friday, June 19th in a series of remote graduation ceremonies honoring its undergraduate Class of 2020 and its masters and PhD students.  Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered an inspiring keynote address and in directly acknowledging recent racial and social unrest, she urged students to become actively engaged and be part of the policy and governing process.

CEE celebrated our graduates in a series of virtual events – videos of which can be viewed here

In lieu of our Thursday evening Graduation Reception and Dinner, we hosted a Zoom Senior Cocktail Hour at which we saw the slide show of photos marking memorable events of our senior class’s days at NU.  We also viewed a video made by CEE students and faculty and edited by Tierney Acott, CEE’s “most amazing” program assistant. With quite a few surprising performances (who knew these hidden talents?), perhaps a senior class video should become a new CEE tradition. 

On Friday following the university’s convocation, we presented awards to nine outstanding seniors and announced the names and honors of the 25 CEE graduates in a virtual graduation ceremony.  I have listed the award honorees below. Following the undergraduate ceremony, we honored our 20 MS and 9 PhD graduates.  Although we were unable figure out how to virtually hood our PhD students, we honored their high achievements by having each student’s advisor share a few words about working together.      

The University plans to invite all 2020 graduates back to campus to celebrate their accomplishments in June 2021.

Class of 2020 Senior Awards: 

1. The Civil Engineering Senior Award, which recognizes an outstanding civil engineering graduating senior in the Department, was awarded to Katrin Chandra, who graduated summa cum laude


2. The Environmental Engineering Senior Award, which recognizes an outstanding environmental engineering graduating senior in the Department, was awarded to Claire Petersen, who graduated summa cum laude.


3. The Edwin C. Rossow Prize for Structural Engineering was established by his former students to honor Professor Rossow’s contributions to the civil engineering profession and dedication to his students and is given to a civil engineering student who, by activities and achievements, demonstrates great potential to contribute and to succeed as a professional in the field of Structural Engineering. The 2020 recipients were Molly Lazar, who graduated magna cum laude, and Julia Nicholson, who graduated cum laude.

4. The Wallis S. Hamilton Award for Civil and Environmental Engineering recognizes the seniors who best exemplify the standards of Professor Hamilton: teacher, researcher, and professional engineer. Three CEE seniors received this award:  Civil Engineers Barney Gray and Audrey Wu, who graduated cum laude, and Environmental Engineer Kylie Melodick

5. The Jimmie Quon Memorial Award for Environmental Engineering was established by his former students to honor Professor Quon and his contributions to the academic and other professional fields encompassing Environmental Engineering and is given to environmental engineering seniors who have the highest potential to make significant contributions to the advancement of Environmental Engineering and positive impact to society. The 2020 recipients were Alma Bartholow and Grace Eder, both of whom graduated cum laude.

McCormick News Article