Record breaking graduation

CoE nears 2,000 in conferred degrees
William Gerstenmaier (BSAAE ’77), an associate administrator at NASA, receives the honorary doctorate from Purdue President Mitch Daniels. Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, also was on stage to congratulate Gerstenmaier.

Spring commencement 2019 proved to be a milestone for the Purdue College of Engineering.

In addition to being the largest commencement ever for the College, it also was the first time that the CoE graduates around 2,000 students with bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in the spring alone.

Also for the first time, more than 500 women and more than 100 minority engineering students graduated during one ceremony, said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. Among the almost 1,500 undergraduate students graduating, 182 are first-generation college students, which “is another record that makes a land-grant university proud,” Chiang added. He also was pleased to report that the number of undergraduates completing a global experience during their time at Purdue came close to matching the record set in 2018.

Adding to the excitement of this year’s commencement exercises was Purdue awarding the one and only honorary doctorate to Engineering alumnus William Gerstenmaier (BSAAE ’77), associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters. The award came during the Division IV commencement ceremony on May 11 that included most of the engineering schools and divisions.

The College was well represented in the number of top students recognized during spring commencement. Paige Rudin, Carmel, recipient of a 2018 Truman Scholarship and Boren Scholarship, was the second MDE student in two years to offer the commencement response on behalf of the graduating class.

Other Engineering students lauded for university achievements:

  • Nelyan Lopez Prez, of Puerto Rico, Materials Engineering
    France A. Cordova Award for Leadership in Action
  • Mukul Ujwala Sunil Sawant, of India, Mechanical Engineering
    Martin C. Jischke Outstanding International Student of the Year Award

The following students received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts:

  • Elena Helvajian, of California, Multidisciplinary Engineering and Theatre Design and Production in the College of Liberal Arts
    Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts
  • Greg Dieter, of Texas, Environmental and Ecological Engineering
    Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts
  • Alec McKeska, of Illinois, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
    Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts

Receiving the Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Awards:

  • Robert Davis, Fishers, Industrial Engineering
    Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award
  • Rushabh R. Jajodia, India, Industrial Engineering
    Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award
  • Varun Raju, Pennsylvania, Industrial Engineering
    Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award
  • Christopher R. Schorr, Ohio, Chemical Engineering
    Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award

Furthermore, two Engineering students received the Amelia Earhart Scholarship:

  • Matthew Kortepeter, Indianapolis, Industrial Engineering
    Amelia Earhart Scholarship
  • Abhipri Mishra, Evansville, Interdisciplinary Engineering
    Amelia Earhart Scholarship