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Dean Kamen Addresses Graduates

Dean Kamen, center, was the speaker at WPI's first indoor graduation since 1989.

Technological visionary Dean Kamen '73 addressed graduates at WPI's 134th Commencement exercises on May 18. A master at turning "what ifs" into lucrative products, he has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Medal of Technology, for such innovations as the first portable drug infusion pump, the IBOT and the Segway Human Transporter (Kamen rode a Segway in the procession).

Founder and CEO of DEKA Research & Development Corp., Kamen entered WPI in 1969, but left before completing his degree. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1992 and its first Presidential Medal in 2001. His passion for inspiring American youth to pursue careers in science and engineering led him to found FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which sponsors a national robotics competition that teams professional engineers with high school students from around the country.

Honorary degrees were presented to George A. Cowan '41, participant in the Manhattan Project and a leading authority on nuclear weapons diagnostics, David M. Lederman, founder of ABIOMED Inc., developer of the first self-contained, implantable artificial heart, and Sheila Tobias, leading authority and author on mathematics and science education.

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Last modified: Jul 25, 2008, 10:14 EDT
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