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Engineering Graduate Students Celebrate Commencement

The December 14 ceremony featured remarks by Professor William White

Dean Julio M. Ottino addresses the graduates at the December 14 commencement.Dean Julio M. Ottino addresses the graduates at the December 14 commencement.

Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science celebrated the graduation of its accomplished master’s and PhD students on Monday, December 14.

Held in the Technological Institute’s Ryan Family Auditorium, the event marked the second time Northwestern Engineering has conducted a ceremony for its December graduates, recognizing 167 master’s students and 13 PhD students.

“As graduate students, you not only challenged yourself to learn new things and create new knowledge, but you served as role models and mentors for other graduate students and our undergraduate students,” said Dean Julio M. Ottino. “You connected with colleagues across departments and schools, and you enriched many of our programs by bringing your unique perspectives.”

William WhiteThe ceremony featured William White (’61), professor of industrial engineering and management sciences and former CEO and chairman of the board of Bell & Howell. Instead of delivering a traditional commencement address, White shared excerpts from other graduation speakers, including Benjamin Franklin, Erma Bombeck, Jon Stewart, and J.K. Rowling. Through their words, White imparted ideas about taking action, taking risks, dreaming big, and finding success.

White ended with words from Alan Alda: “Don’t ever doubt yourself. Laugh at yourself, but don’t doubt yourself. So as you begin to act on your dreams, take those risks and you will achieve the success you want.”

In parting, Ottino congratulated the graduates, urged them to stay in touch, and wished them the best for a successful future.

“Today marks an important day in your careers and in your life,” he said. “Your degree is a significant accomplishment, and I hope that the skills that you have learned here have prepared you for a lifetime of impact.”