WORCESTER – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) began its 148th Commencement celebrations with the graduate students’ ceremony on Thursday, May 12, awarding 739 master’s and doctoral degrees.
This was WPI’s first-ever graduate commencement, a reflection of the growing stature of its graduate programs, which have expanded substantially-in size, diversity, and international recognition.
- Jian Xu was awarded a master of science degree in computer science.
- Xinyuan Sun was awarded a master of science degree in data science.
- Rakesh Biradar was awarded a master of science degree in data science.
- Jordan Brauer was awarded a master of science degree in electrical and computer engineering.
- Michael Conrad was awarded a master of science degree in management.
- Yushu Ma was awarded a master of science degree in marketing and technological innovation.
- Steven Danley was awarded a master of science degree in mechanical engineering.
- Zhengyuan Lu was awarded a master of science degree in mechanical engineering.
- Megan Hoey was awarded a master of science degree in systems engineering.
France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), addressed the graduating class and received an honorary doctor of science degree. As director, Cordova oversees the largest federal agency that supports research and education across all fields of science and engineering. She previously served as NASA’s chief scientist.
The crowd of more than 2,000 also heard messages from WPI president Laurie A. Leshin and 2016 graduate commencement student speaker Shaymus Hudson.
President Leshin made special note of the first-ever graduate commencement ceremony.
“This is a critical and important moment in our history. Our graduate programs have grown significantly since 1898 when five esteemed students at WPI received their master’s degrees. Today we confer 740 graduate degrees, including 35 PhDs. We’ve come a long way.” Leshin also highlighted the 200 students receiving graduate degrees through the university’s corporate and professional education programs, saying, “I am especially proud that WPI has partnered with companies, local and global, to enable their employees to be lifelong learners-something so critical for success in today’s dynamic world.”
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.