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Rose-Hulman Commencement 2012
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Inventor Dean Kamen Encourages the Class of 2012 to Fix the World
May 26, 2012
Members of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Class of 2012
were encouraged to use their engineering, science and mathematics
skills to fix challenging issues throughout the world.
|A Special Day: Civil engineering graduate Molly Rice
receives her diploma from President Robert Coons during
Institute of Technology's 134th commencement in the
Sports and Recreation Center on May 26.
"You are inheriting a world that needs very focused attention,"
stated one of the world's greatest inventors, Dean Kamen, in making
this year's address to the 417 bachelor's and master's degree
candidates participating in the institute's 134th commencement in
the Sports and Recreation Center.
President Robert Coons told the graduates, "Each of you will
make a difference; an impact on the world in which you will
And, Alumni Association President James Nordmeyer, a 1978
graduate, also encouraged the Class of 2012 to make a difference.
"I encourage you to look broadly at the possibilities to solve
problems, make plans, and improve processes and designs. In the
future, you will be forming and forging everything from the world's
largest man-made structures to our tiniest electronic devices. You
will engineer every aspect of our lives."
||Words of Wisdom: Inventor Dean Kamen urged members of
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Class of 2012 to use their
talents to solve many of the world's problems. Kamen, who has
over 400 patents, was this year's commencement speaker and received
an honorary degree.
That has been the case with Kamen, whose inventions include the
world's first wearable infusion pump and the Segway. He explained
to the graduates, faculty and staff members, and family members
that 2 billion of the approximate 7 billion people in the world get
up every morning with a problem-finding drinkable water. He
continued explaining that 2 million people will die trying to win
clean water, and another 2 billion people have never used
Then, Kamen told the Class of 2012 of their good fortune. "You
got the most valuable resource, an education," he said.
"Instead of seeing education as a privilege, carry it as a
Continuing with his "contrarian" explanations, Kamen told the
group that many smart people are saying these are tough times. With
economic meltdowns and countries changing, he said, "Yes, by a lot
of metrics the last few years have been tough times."
But, instead of following suggestions to be extra careful, Kamen
told this year's Rose-Hulman graduates to do just the opposite:
"Getting others to accept change is never easier than when they're
not fat, dumb and happy." He added that people in desperate times,
as many are now, are willing to accept change.
"You come up with new ideas to solve problems, you are walking
into a world that is ripe for change," he told the Class of 2012.
"Don't squander this opportunity."
|Out With A Bang: Confetti started the celebration as
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Class of 2012 begins the next
journey toward careers in engineering, science and
Referring to a conversation with late Rose-Hulman President Matt
Branam, Kamen was happy to open a pipeline between his company,
DEKA, and Rose-Hulman because he is always looking for intelligent
Kamen also offered two points that, if done correctly, will lead
the graduates to future success: No. 1, pick something important to
do with all of their knowledge and education, and No. 2, don't give
up. "You make a life by what you give to the world," he said. "Have
a great life."
Rose-Hulman's Class of 2012 includes graduates that have earned
patents for innovative techniques, helped establish a medical
center in the Dominican Republic, assisted in the creation of
life-saving medical devices, completed more than 40,000 hours of
community service and raised more than $200,000 for community and
These were all admirable to Kamen, who created FIRST® (For
Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an
organization dedicated to introducing young minds to science and
technology, takes engineering to a problem-solving format to help
kids to recognize that science and technology are some of the most
As an inventor, Kamen holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign
patents, many for innovative medical devices that have expanded the
knowledge of health care worldwide. While still a college
undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, used
in medical specialties such as chemotherapy, neonatology and
endocrinology. In 1976, he founded AutoSyringe, Inc. to manufacture
and market the pumps. He later sold that company to Baxter
Healthcare Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other
infusion devices, including the first wearable insulin pump for
Kamen founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation after
the sale of AutoSyringe.