Commencement Thank You!



Dear WPI Community, 

The Core Commencement Committee wishes to thank the many members of the university community who helped celebrate our students’ achievements last week. Certainly the weather helped with the festive atmosphere, but also our faculty and staff welcomed those visiting campus with a deeply caring and enthusiastic presence.

Our community thank you may unintentionally miss someone; yet please allow us to call out a few of our outstanding community members who were essential to our campus celebration:

  • Our Facilities Team had the campus beautifully manicured, and our Events Team, led by Bill Battelle worked diligently before, during, and after the ceremonies to prepare for Commencement (and Reunion this weekend).
  • Lori Kendall-Taylor and Stacey Burton led the Graduate Ceremony planning process for Thursday evening, allowing us to bask in the glow of our newest Doctoral and Masters students. 
  • Jen Cluett, Kate Beverage, Eliza Laurent, and Amy Magiera led the student line-up efforts, coordinating approximately 1600 candidates in correct alpha order, adjusting regalia as needed, and replacing lost tassels, while reminding our students what to do when crossing the stage.  
  • On Friday, Amy L’Heureux brought together the Air Force and Army to celebrate the Joint ROTC Commissioning Program and their first salutes.
  • Kim Wykes led and supported the Friday evening Baccalaureate Program with wonderful music and student and alumni speeches. 
  • Christine Sharry, with the supreme help of Rachel Riley-Schafer and Justin Amevor, managed the ticketing process so that we had room for our guests to enjoy their students’ special moment.
  • Jen Irving managed the 90+ staff volunteers, recruiting, assigning and providing the access badges so these volunteers could do their jobs!
  • Our students’ presentations at Baccalaureate, as well as the Graduate and Undergraduate ceremonies, were refined through the dedicated work of Sira Frongillo, who worked individually with each student speaker on their presentation, speech cadence, and content.
  • Behind the scenes, the Registrar’s Office team worked the entire previous weekend to make sure our graduates were cleared and received their diplomas.
  • Meredith Merchant and Joe Nichols coordinated the canopy tents and placement of the white sandwich boards with signage to assist our arriving guests.
  • The CDC and Accessibility Services staffs coordinated accessible transportation and seating, continuing our focus on creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
  • What would commencement be without sound and video? Without Dave Taranto overseeing the Audio-Visual Team and closed-captioning system, our ceremonies certainly would have lacked presentation, and this also helped to embody an inclusive environment.   
  • Our Marketing and Communications Team, led by Stacey Happy, used their creative talents to get the word out about Commencement to our students and parents/guests.
  • Getting our student names correct is our pinnacle of success. Our name readers, Colleen Callahan-Panday, Stephanie Pasha, Charlie Morse, David Ortendahl, Amy Beth Laythe, and Matt Barry, pronounced over 1600 names with perfect enunciation.
  • Lastly, our Campus Police Officers were visible and present to ensure our campus environment and community was safe, complete with a fully functioning and staffed Emergency Operations Center (EOC)….coupled with the return of Adam Epstein as our EOC and on-site Quad liaison.

Quite simply, Commencement and major campus events cannot occur without the dedication and care that our faculty and staff share. Thank you for helping foster this environment.

Each and every WPI Community member plays an important role in the lives of our students and graduates. Thank you to everyone involved in making Commencement weekend such a success!

The CORE Commencement Team