The College of Engineering conferred approximately 289 degrees during the 2015 fall commencement ceremony, held Friday, Dec.18, in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“Soon, you will embark on life’s new journey,” Interim Dean Mary Julia “Judy” Wornat said to a crowd of graduates and their family members, friends and supporters. “But for now, stand and relish in this moment.”
This fall’s ceremony was a particularly special gathering for many reasons, said Jada Lewis, assistant dean of diversity for the college.
“This one is sort of bittersweet because I’m seeing a lot of students that I started my job with here,” she said. “It’s like seeing your own babies grow up.”
Of those 289 degrees, 183 were Bachelor of Science, 59 were Master of Science and 21 were Ph.D. degrees. There was one graduate from Ogden Honors College, electrical engineering graduate Nathan Ross, and nine graduates from LSU’s Distinguished Communicators program.
Trenton Ford, computer science graduate, received the college’s Edward McLaughlin Dean’s Medal of Excellence for achieving the highest GPA at 3.99.
Aaron Michael Davis, construction management graduate and Ferriday, Louisiana native, was the class representative.
“This room is filled with joy, tears, smiles,” Davis said, “and a few frowns from those of us who have to start repaying student loans, soon. Sallie Mae, thank you for getting me through school. I don’t think I could ever repay you.”
Davis spoke directly to his fellow graduates about the history of the tiger and about the strength of the LSU tiger; the tiger that “will never be endangered or become extinct.”
“To my classmates, as we go our separate ways, I want you to remember who we are and the amount of hard work, perseverance and consistency it took to get to this point – graduation,” he said. “Today is the day we can truly say that we’ve earned the right to be an LSU Tiger.”
Students and faculty also stood in support of Dr. Bijaya Karki, Chair of the Division of Computer Science, and his family by wearing purple armbands in remembrance of their son Praneet Karki.
Praneet Karki, who passed in November, was in the final semester of completing his degree in biological engineering. During the ceremony, there was a letter from fellow students to the Karki family placed in a seat left open in his honor.
“We will always cherish the moments that we are privileged to have in knowing Praneet,” the letter said. “Please know that, as the graduating seniors walk at the commencement ceremony this December, Praneet will be there walking with us in our hearts.”
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