Berkeley Engineers off to change the world
Photo by Adam Lau, Berkeley Engineering
Lots more photos, videos of both ceremonies and social media links are available on our commencement webcast page.
Nearly 700 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students gathered with their families and friends at the Hearst Greek Theatre yesterday for the College of Engineering’s annual commencement ceremonies. During both events, speakers called on graduates to draw on their Berkeley education to promote equity as well as innovation.
“As Berkeley engineers, you use your minds, hands and hearts to innovate new solutions that will help make our world a better place,” Dean Tsu-Jae Liu told the graduates. “We hope that as you embark on the next phase of your life, you will advance our public mission as inclusive leaders who create new knowledge and solutions equitably for the benefit of our diverse society.”
The speeches by students at both ceremonies also echoed these sentiments. At the graduate student ceremony, student speaker Ikennah Browne (M.T.M. ’19 BioE) challenged his fellow graduates to use their experiences here as a call to action.
“As we reflect on our sacrifices as well as our triumphs, my dream is that every graduate seated here today would make a conscious decision to take this Berkeley culture into your future careers,” he said.
At the undergraduate ceremony, student speaker Gracielita Mendoza-Beginez (B.S.’19 ME) shared her own experience as a first-generation, low-income Latina engineering student and encouraged her fellow graduates to address the lack of diversity in engineering.
“Representation in STEM matters, and we have to do a better job at exposing people of color to STEM fields earlier in their academic careers,” she said.
This year, keynote speakers for both the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies were Berkeley Engineering alums. Elizabeth Hausler (M.S.’98, Ph.D’02 CEE), CEO of Build Change, was the graduate ceremony keynote speaker. She encouraged the graduating class to seek solutions to complex problems by taking a “curvy path.” Jack McCauley (B.S.’86 EECS), co-founder and former chief engineer of Oculus VR, gave the keynote address at the undergraduate ceremony, in which he emphasized the importance of teamwork and emotional intelligence.
The Berkeley Engineering community also celebrated the achievements of Tyler Chen (B.S.’19 BioE/MSE), who won this year’s University Medal, the highest honor for a graduating senior. Mechanical engineering professors Andrew Packard and Paul Wright were also recognized for receiving the Berkeley Citation, one of the highest honors given to faculty by the university.