June 3, 2010

The College of Engineering held its diploma ceremony for Spring 2010 at the Maddox Field House, conferring 325 Bachelor of Science degrees, 35 Masters of Science degrees and 19 students received their Ph.D. This year's graduating class contained a large number of students including eight Distinguished Communicators, 13 Summa Cum Laude graduates, 11 Magna Cum Laude graduates, and 10 Cum Laude graduates. Of note from the College of Engineering graduates, 314 were male and 65 were female, representing 34 Louisiana Parishes, nine states, and 23 foreign countries.

Four LSU engineering seniors received University Medals, awarded for graduating with perfect undergraduate grade-point averages: Tyler J. Ball, a biological engineering major from Baton Rouge; Ryan E. Bowman, an electrical engineering major from Ragley, Michael D. Modica, a biological engineering major from Metairie, and Leah R. Muller, a biological engineering major from Hammond. In another tradition, the College of Engineering also honors those graduates who have earned the highest gpa. Dr. Edward McLaughlin, Dean Emeritus, presented the Edward McLaughlin Dean's Medal of Excellence to those same four graduates who earned a perfect 4.00 grade point average. The award commemorates McLaughlin's 28-year LSU career as professor, researcher, department chair and dean.

LSU honored 18 graduating students with the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award, including eight from the College of Engineering. These students earned this honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program. The students earned high grade-point averages in communication-intensive courses - based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication - and have built digital portfolios displayed as public Web sites that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service. Those honored from the College of Engineering included Kristen Barrett, Elizabeth Beard, Mathew Daniel, Richard Griffiths, Danica Nguyen, Jennifer Pizzitola, Jack Tourres, and Ryan Zimmmerman.

Twenty-two graduates were commissioned during the LSU Spring Commissioning Ceremony on Thursday, May 20, at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. Rear Adm. Clifford S. "Cliff" Sharpe, commander of the Naval Service Training Command, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. Three College of Engineering graduates were from the LSU Air Force ROTC program. 2nd Lt. Braden Jude Bawcom from Baton Rouge received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Bawcom will be stationed at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. 2nd Lt. Brian Figueroa from Gretna received a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering. Figueroa will be stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. 2nd Lt. Benjamin David Shearer from Baton Rouge received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the LSU College of Engineering. Shearer will be stationed at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

Among notable degree recipients from the College of Engineering this year was Phillip Malcolm, a member of LSU's Track & Field team who graduated with a degree in construction management; in addition to Joe Maltempi, LSU Football team who received a degree in chemical engineering. College of Engineering's Forever LSU Campaign Steering Committee members Ronald (Ron) Cambre (BS, ChE 1960) and Richard Juneau (BS, ME 1960) were among those honored as Golden Tigers, which recognized the LSU class of 1960, or those who graduated at least 50 years ago.

LSU held its 271st commencement exercises on May 21st, conferring 3,382 students. The main ceremony was held in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and individual colleges held separate diploma ceremonies at various locations around the Baton Rouge campus. Kristina M. Johnson, under secretary for energy in the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., delivered the commencement address at the main ceremony.

"I know as your commencement speaker, I'm supposed to impart all kinds of life's lessons, but frankly, there's a lot that we can learn from the graduates of LSU," Johnson said. "You have defined the word 'resilient' ... you've seen tremendous challenges, but you've also helped tackle these challenges. On behalf of the entire Obama administration, I'd like to say a special thanks to the LSU faculty and students who are giving their time and expertise to help protect the Gulf Coast for the unwilling disaster of the BP spill."

"I'm here because more than any new policy or any new technology, you are the future, and it's all that you are about to do which is important to all of us," she said.

This year marked LSU's 150th, or sesquicentennial, anniversary. To mark this momentous occasion, LSU planned several sesquicentennial flourishes for the 2010 graduates which included each graduate receiving a commemorative diploma reminiscent of the eight diplomas issued at the university's first commencement ceremony in 1869. The masthead and verbiage of the original diploma were preserved in this commemorative edition. Graduates and their guests enjoyed the "LSU Rhapsody," a compilation of some of the most treasured LSU music. The Rhapsody is reserved for the most special of occasions and is played today to honor the university's milestone anniversary. LSU prepared a video display of historical images dating back to the university's earliest days to mark the special occasion.


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Article excerpted from LSU media releases by Mimi LaValle for the College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu


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