Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will confer 1,193 degrees during its 146th Commencement, to be held today on the campus Quadrangle. At the ceremony, 794 bachelor's degrees, 381 master's degrees, and 18 PhDs will be awarded. Additionally, 382 degrees were awarded earlier this academic year.
Thousands are expected to hear messages delivered by keynote speaker Bernard Amadei, founder of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders-International Network, WPI's Interim President Philip B. Ryan, and Class of 2014 speaker Joseph F. Gay.
Honorary degrees will be conferred upon Amadei; Robert A. Foisie '56, retired founder of Matik North America Inc.; Sheila M. Harrity, nationally recognized principal of Worcester Technical High School; and Stephen E. Rubin '74, entrepreneur and former chairman of the WPI Board of Trustees.
WPI announced earlier this week that Foisie, a first-generation college graduate, is giving the university $40 million to provide scholarships for generations of students to come. The gift is the largest in the university’s 149-year history.
The Chairman's Exemplary Faculty Prize will be presented to Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering and assistant dean of engineering. The prize, established in 2007 through the personal philanthropy of Donald K. Peterson '71, former chair of the WPI Board of Trustees, recognizes faculty members who excel in all relevant areas of faculty performance.
Tarek Al-Shawaf '55, founder, president, and chairman of Saudconsut, the oldest and largest engineering and architectural firm in Saudi Arabia, will receive the university's Presidential Medal. Established in 2001, the medal recognizes outstanding individuals from all walks of life who, through their professional or personal accomplishments, exemplify the ideal of the "technological humanist."
In his prepared remarks, Ryan will tell students that they have achieved at the highest levels – in the classroom, on project teams, and on the playing fields.
"You have demonstrated dedication and excellence and enriched the substance and vitality of our university's academic, social, and cultural life," he will say. "You have built community in ways that have enhanced the experience of all of us who work and study at this great university."