Investiture: Class of 2009
The Investiture ceremony honoring Thayer School’s Class of 2009 was held June 13, 2009 in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center. Dean Joseph J. Helble presided over the presentation of hoods, caps, and awards to 129 recipients of Bachelor of Engineering and graduate degrees.
The recipient of Thayer School’s Robert Fletcher Award for distinguished achievement and service was James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Winner of a National Medal of Technology, he is an expert on nuclear energy, high-powered lasers, information technology, and policy development in energy, education, and science.
“My cloudy crystal ball suggests a future characterized by rapid, unpredictable, and frequently dramatic change, a future of great challenge and responsibility,” he told graduates. “You will face challenges of a magnitude that would have been incomprehensible when I graduated — energy sustainability, global climate change, global poverty and health, conflict, and terrorism. But you are also graduating during one of the most intellectually productive times in human history. Knowledge continues to grow exponentially. The more we learn, the more we are capable of learning. Yet it is also this same explosion of knowledge that has made this a time in which permanence and stability become less valued than flexibility and creativity, in which the only certainty will be the presence of continual change; and the capacity to relish, stimulate, and manage change will be one of the most critical abilities of all.”
Engineers have an advantage, Duderstadt told the audience: “There is an old saying in engineering that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it!’ You have the ability to go out into that exciting world full of change, challenge, and opportunity and not only shape the future but to actually invent it. Indeed, it is your challenge to make certain that the future is never again what it used to be.”
See 2009 Investiture for the full text of Duderstadt’s speech, lists of honorees and graduates, video, and photos.
Class of 2009 Graduates
- 10 — Doctor of Philosophy
- 12 — Master of Science
- 46 — Master of Engineering Management
- 61 — Bachelor of Engineering
- 54 — A.B., Engineering Sciences