Engineering News

McCormick Graduate Students Celebrate 161st Commencement

Dean Julio M. Ottino, Carolyn Duran, and Warren Haug delivered remarks

A PhD graduate watches the hooding ceremony in Ryan Auditorium on June 21. Credit: Joel WintermantleA PhD graduate watches the hooding ceremony in Ryan Auditorium on June 21. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
Carolyn Duran (PhD '98), a vice president at Intel Corporation, addressed PhD students. Credit: Joel WintermantleCarolyn Duran (PhD '98), a vice president at Intel Corporation, addressed PhD students. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
A PhD graduate is hooded by Northwestern Engineering faculty during the June 21 ceremony. Credit: Joel WintermantleA PhD graduate is hooded by Northwestern Engineering faculty during the June 21 ceremony. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
A master's graduate celebrates with friends and family after the ceremony on June 22. Credit: Joel WintermantleA master's graduate celebrates with friends and family after the ceremony on June 22. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
Warren Haug, a retired vice president at Procter & Gamble, addressed master's graduates. Credit: Joel WintermantleWarren Haug, a retired vice president at Procter & Gamble, addressed master's graduates. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
Master's graduates watch the commencement ceremony at Welsh-Ryan Arena on June 22. Credit: Joel WintermantleMaster's graduates watch the commencement ceremony at Welsh-Ryan Arena on June 22. Credit: Joel Wintermantle
The master's commencement ceremony recognized 697 graduates. Credit: Joel Wintermantle.The master's commencement ceremony recognized 697 graduates. Credit: Joel Wintermantle.

Watch the PhD Hooding Ceremony

Watch the Master’s Degree Recognition Ceremony

 Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering celebrated the graduation of 697 master’s and 201 PhD students with ceremonies on June 21 and 22 as part of the University’s 161st Commencement.

Dean Julio M. OttinoDuring Friday’s PhD Hooding Ceremony held at the Technological Institute’s Ryan Family Auditorium Dean Julio M. Ottino acknowledged the graduates’ hard work and expressed gratitude for the honor of serving as their professors and mentors.

“You have been a part of the research that drives innovation, pushes the frontiers, goes into the unknown, and discovers new questions,” he said. “Along the way, you’ve learned not only deep technical skills, but also timeless skills that resist obsolescence.”

Carolyn Duran (PhD ’98), vice president in the data center group and general manager of memory and I/O technologies at Intel Corporation, delivered the ceremony address. She advised the graduates to leverage the intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills developed in their programs in order to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

Carolyn Duran“Your education at Northwestern has given you these incredible tools, but this is not enough — you also have to create your own opportunities to use these skills fully,” Duran said. “For that, I say ‘raise your hand.’ Don’t be afraid of a little change and take some chances. Your success will not come from expecting someone to tap you on the shoulder and hand it to you. You need to seek it out.

“Opportunities come when we reach for them. No matter what you choose to do as you leave here and go out into the world, what you start out doing will not be what you end up doing,” she added. “Our world is changing around us, and you can sit and let it pass you by, or you can choose to adapt and grow and learn with it. Chart your own path.”

The next day at the Master’s Degree Recognition Ceremony, held at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Warren Haug (MS ’63, PhD ’65), retired vice president at Procter & Gamble Company, shared advice from more than 30 years of experience in the research and development sector. He urged graduates to commit to continued personal growth, sharpen their skills to define a problem correctly, and to not overlook the importance of interpersonal communication.

Warren Haug“Career paths have changed markedly. Very few people spend their whole career with one company anymore, like I did,” said Haug, a member of the McCormick Advisory Council and former adjunct professor at Northwestern Engineering. “That gives people much less time to establish effective personal relationships, so you’ll need to be good at it. And you don’t get good at it via text messages.”

Ottino ended the ceremonies by asking the new graduates to stay connected with Northwestern.

“Although your careers may take you far from campus, we hope to see and hear from you on a frequent basis,” he said. “As alumni, you are the source of our value – we are only as good as the people that we produce. I am eager to see what you will accomplish."