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Commencement 2006

Honorary marshal Jeanine Plummer leads the processional over Earle Bridge

Tjama Tjivikua is presented with an honorary degree

Curtis Carlson delivers the keynote address

Andrew Bangs ’06 became the university’s first graduate in the innovative Interactive Media and Game Development program when he received his WPI diploma this spring. Bangs joined his 937 peers at the university’s 138th Commencement, on May 20. This year, WPI conferred 641 bachelor’s degrees, 267 master’s degrees, and 30 PhD degrees.

Honorary degrees were given to Marian Heard, former president and CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay; Tjama Tjivikua, founder and rector of the Polytechnic Institute of Namibia, the first technological university in the southwest African nation; and keynote speaker and WPI trustee Curtis R.Carlson ’67, president and CEO of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif. An innovator and technology leader, Carlson holds fundamental patents in the fields of image quality, image coding, and computer vision. Most recently, the Society for Information Display awarded him the 2006 Otto Schade Prize in Display Performance and Image Quality.

Carlson spoke to the graduates about the world of abundance. “Unlike land and other physical resources, knowledge, ideas, and creativity are unlimited. They build on each other to create opportunity after new opportunity,” he said. “Innovation is now the primary driver of growth, prosperity, and quality of life.”

Carlson reminded the graduates that the world is only abundant to those who have the appropriate knowledge and skills. “Fortunately, you are among a rare group that has the required skills,” he said. “The WPI Plan is now the model for higher education in our global world. For you, an exciting adventure is just beginning.”

President Dennis Berkey also told the graduates that they are well prepared for innovation, leadership, and achievement.

“I take much satisfaction from the thought that you have been well educated by this deeply dedicated faculty—in courses on the campus, in projects at home and around the world, in theatrical and musical projects and performances, and in one-on-one interactions of many kinds,” Berkey said. “Lifelong learning is therefore more than a slogan at WPI. It is a habit of mind that arises from the experience of a truly excellent education.”

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Last modified: Sep 28, 2006, 08:38 EDT
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