Commencement 2016: Nearly 1,200 students earn engineering degrees

Jun 16, 2016

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Nearly 1,200 graduates of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science received their degrees at Pauley Pavilion on June 11, 2016, at the school’s 52nd commencement ceremony.

Friends and family members of the graduates packed the lower bowl of the arena to watch the graduates cross the stage and receive their degrees.

2016 Commencement Keynote Speaker Thomas Kennedy, PhD '84.
2016 Commencement Keynote Speaker Thomas Kennedy, PhD ’84.

Roughly 660 students received their bachelor’s degrees at the ceremony. Four hundred and fifteen students earned their master of science degrees, and 119 students who completed or will complete their Ph.D.s this academic year received the ceremonial hoods marking their achievement.

Thomas Kennedy PhD ’84, chairman and chief executive of Raytheon Corp., offered the keynote address. Kennedy emphasized the importance of diversity, and diversity of thought, as vital traits for engineers who will take on tomorrow’s challenges.

“I ask you to think big,” said Kennedy, whose company is the largest employer of UCLA Engineering graduates. “Adapt, and always be learning.”

UCLA Engineering Dean Jayathi Murthy congratulated the graduates on their achievement, and beforehand asked attendees for a moment of silence to remember fallen faculty member William Klug, killed by a gunman on June 1.

Gregory Caguimbal, who received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering after an undergraduate career that included volunteering with student clubs and launching a foundation to support graduates of his high school alma mater, was the student speaker.

2016 Commencement Student Speaker Gregory Caguimbal.
2016 Commencement Student Speaker Gregory Caguimbal.

He encouraged fellow graduates to “become the unicorn,” making valuable and unique contributions to society and those around them. “Be bold. Take risks. Make mistakes. Inspire people, and become the unicorn you were meant to be,” he said.

Sierra Kennison, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and plans to attend Oxford University, sang the national anthem.

Electrical Engineering Professor Benjamin Williams served as faculty marshal.

A video of the ceremony, including the processional, keynote address, student speaker address, and the conferring of Ph.D.s, master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees, can be found here.

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