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NEWS: Rose-Hulman Commencement 2012

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Seniors Honor Late President, Wearing Commemorative Lapel Pins

May 25, 2012

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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Class of 2012 honored the memory of Matt Branam during this year's commencement ceremony by wearing special pins with the phrase "Make It Happen; Make It Fun!," a favorite saying of the late Rose-Hulman president, who passed away unexpectedly on April 20.

The pin was designed by Jason Block, a mechanical engineering graduate from Morton Grove, Ill., after several graduating seniors came up with the idea for the pins, according to Andrew Jordan, president of the Class of 2012. 

"These pins will help the public see how much Matt Branam meant to us as a class. We were the only class that was here during his entire tenure, and I feel that he had a huge impact on not only us, but on how we saw Rose-Hulman as a school," stated Jordan.

The pins were available to any senior wishing to wear one on their gown during commencement.

Besides the pins, the Class of 2012 is leaving a legacy through a Senior Challenge fund-raising drive that donated the largest graduating class gift in Rose-Hulman history. Branam enthusiastically encouraged the seniors' efforts, which started earlier this spring. The generosity has been matched by students from other classes, faculty and staff members, alumni, and special friends. The fundraising total was $4,528 through May 24, with additional donations expected throughout commencement weekend.

 "Our goal was to educate all students about the importance of supporting Rose-Hulman," stated mechanical engineering and economics graduate Trenton Tabor, who helped organize the Senior Challenge.

Branam was also be honored by a moment of silence during the commencement ceremony.