Hats off to 2012 graduates

Commencement 2012.Commencement 2012.The world is now wealthier by well over 1,300 newly minted Berkeley Engineers–a proud moment we celebrated on Saturday, May 12 with the college’s 143rd commencement exercises in the Greek Theatre.

In the morning, we saluted our master’s and doctoral candidates, including the first cohort to graduate from the college’s new professional master of engineering program. Commencement speaker Thomas Siebel, chairman of First Virtual Group, reminded graduates that “luck will be a critical component of each of your successes. Luck, they say, is where preparation meets opportunity. Be ready. Luck happens.”

In our baccalaureate ceremony that afternoon, Marvell co-founder Weili Dai (B.S.’84 CS) encouraged the graduates with her own story.

“If a young girl from Shanghai can come to America knowing almost no English, graduate from Berkeley, raise a beautiful family, build a meaningful career, keep her traditional values and principles and co-found one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world,” Dai told the graduates, “truly anything is possible in America.”

Dai started Marvell Technology Group in 1995 with her husband, Sehat Sutardja (M.S.’85, Ph.D.’88 EECS), and his brother, Pantas Sutardja (B.S.’83, M.S.’85, Ph.D.’88 EECS). Sutardja-Dai Hall was named in their honor. Weili and Sehat are the proud parents of two Berkeley Engineers: Christopher (B.S.’10 EECS), now a doctoral student here; and Nicholas (B.S.’12 EECS), who walked across Saturday’s stage to share an embrace with his mother.

Dean Shankar Sastry presided over both ceremonies, asking all graduates to “answer the call of the ‘citizen engineer.’”

“I want you to use your engineering talents to create better living conditions, greater prosperity and a healthier planet for all,” said Sastry.

Meanwhile, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (M.S.’79, Ph.D.’82 EECS) and Cal’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year, spoke at Cal’s campuswide commencement, imploring graduates to “say yes” to opportunities to innovate and dream, and asking, “What are you going to dream for all of us to enjoy?”

WATCH A SLIDESHOW OF COMMENCEMENT 2012.