2024 Investiture Information

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Dartmouth Engineering Celebrates a Record Number of Degrees

Jun 11, 2024

Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth celebrated the awarding of a record 351 degrees to its students—including a majority female Bachelor of Engineering (BE) and Master of Engineering Management (MEM) class—at its 2024 Investiture on Saturday.

Student speaker and PhD Innovation Fellow Chase Yakaboski Th'24 addresses the crowd. (Photo by Mark Washburn)

More than 900 people gathered on Dartmouth's West End Circle—and as many as 1,200 viewers joined online—to witness graduating BE, MEM, MEng, MS, and PhD candidates, led by four student marshals, receive their academic hoods from the engineering faculty. In addition, numerous graduates, faculty, and staff were recognized for contributions and accomplishments in academics, research, engineering design, and service. See photos

Mung Chiang, president of Purdue University and renowned electrical engineer, delivered the keynote address. (Photo by Mark Washburn)

Mung Chiang, president of Purdue University and renowned electrical engineer, received this year's Robert Fletcher Award and delivered a keynote address about engineering design, noting that "human-centered learning and discovery has long been a part of" Thayer's DNA.

"Engineers solve problems with atoms, bytes, and people," said Chiang. "Like many of you, I had my intellectual curiosity shaped by faculty advisors. [They] taught me not just proofs and experiments, but also asking questions and connecting dots so patterns emerge out of fluctuations.

"They also taught me that much of what's covered in classes and in speeches will soon be forgotten. What is uncovered by yourself lasts longer. In that sense, your lifelong learning is like a beautiful journey without a destination. And it continues on Monday morning."

This year's student speaker, PhD Innovation Fellow Chase Yakaboski Th'24, spoke to fellow graduates about Thayer's "outsized impact" made possible through "our unique, close-knit, and extraordinarily interdisciplinary community that allows us to form truly enduring relationships."

He also spoke of the importance of strategy over plans—a lesson he learned from his late grandmother. "If you focus on a plan, especially a detailed one, when one step fails, the whole plan often crumbles. Instead, she focused on a strategy: 'Find a loving partner, see the world, and have no regrets.' ... Her life was one that could never be planned, but she knew her strategy and seized every opportunity to try, leaving with no regrets."

Dean Alexis Abramson congratulates a graduate. (Photo by Mark Washburn)

Dean Alexis Abramson, in her closing remarks, encouraged students to "stay open" and to always ask questions, starting with the seemingly simple—"why?"

"Keep asking 'why?'" she said. "I think you'll be surprised and inspired by what you find. And you'll be better equipped to solve the world's most complex problems. Let this be who you are, how you live, and how you lead."

Following Investiture, Thayer alum Mira Murati Th'12, OpenAI's chief technology officer, joined a special conversation, moderated by Dartmouth Trustee Jeffrey Blackburn '91, about her work on the frontlines of artificial intelligence (AI) and her vision for AI's future. Murati, who once built race cars with the Dartmouth Formula Racing team, met with current engineering and computer science students and faculty in a private roundtable following the event.

Both Murati and Chiang received an honorary doctor of science from Dartmouth at Sunday's Commencement ceremony.

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