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Commencement Awaits Graduating Seniors and Family Members

Monday, May 18, 2015
Two female students take a Commencement selfie.

Anticipating Commencement: Two members of the Class of 2015 document wearing their robes before the recent commencement rehearsal. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Rose-Hulman will present bachelor's and master's degrees to 459 students during its 137th commencement on May 30. Other members of the Class of 2015 will be recognized in anticipation of completing academic degree requirements following the summer or fall academic quarters.

The ceremony will be conducted in the field house area of the Sports and Recreation Center, starting at 11 a.m. This will follow the seniors' final processional through campus, along with the faculty, administrators, and members of the Board of Trustees. Special guests will be -- returning alumni from this year's 50-year anniversary class, the Class of 1965.

People unable to attend, but wishing to view the ceremony, can watch the event through a live webcast, starting at 10:45 a.m. on May 30.

Michael A. Mussallem, chairman and chief executive officer of Edwards Lifesciences, will present the commencement address at his alma mater. Prior to joining the California-based company, Mussallem had a variety of management roles at Baxter International Inc. from 1979 until 2000. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman in 1974 and received an honorary doctorate degree from the institute in 1999.

Meanwhile, Rose-Hulman will present honorary doctorate of engineering degrees to Indiana corporate leaders Carl A. Cook, chief executive officer of Bloomington, Indiana-based Cook Group Inc., and Terre Haute business leader Thomas T. Dinkel.

Besides receiving their diplomas, select members of the Class of 2015 will be recognized for academic, leadership, extracurricular activities, and helping make Rose-Hulman a better place. Two professors will be honored for their teaching and research, while one staff member will be recognized for outstanding service to the institute.

Full details about commencement procedures can be found here.


Placement Success for Class of 2015 Continues Strong Tradition

Opportunities to hire this spring's Rose-Hulman graduates are quickly disappearing. Through mid-May, the Office of Career Services reports 88 percent of the Class of 2015 had accepted full-time employment, are planning to attend graduate school or will be commissioned military officers after completing Army or Air Force programs. The placement rate is expected to be 93 percent by Commencement.

Majors with the highest placement percentages currently include computer engineering (94 percent), civil engineering (92 percent), electrical engineering (89 percent), and chemical engineering (85 percent). Majors with a handful of graduates, such as biochemistry, engineering physics, and chemistry have 100 percent placement rates.

Overall, the average accepted starting salary for the Class of 2015 was $66,417, with several graduates in some academic majors receiving offers in access of $102,000. Computer science majors earned the ripest offers with starting salaries averaging more than $82,000.

Rose-Hulman graduates rank near the top of all United States colleges and universities for starting and mid-career salaries, according to the 2015 Payscale Return on Investment Report. The website reported that Rose-Hulman graduates had early-career salaries of about $66,600 in 2014, placing Rose-Hulman No. 9 among more than 400 private, not-for-profit universities.

A record 772 companies posted job openings on campus and requested students' resumes for those positions during the 2014-15 school year, while a near-record 359 companies came to conduct on-campus interviews with Rose-Hulman students. The top companies hiring this year's Rose-Hulman graduates include Amazon (11), Epic Systems (10), Ford Motor Company (7), Halliburton (7), Microsoft (6), Eli Lilly & Company (5), Honeywell (5), National Instruments (5) and Texas Instruments (5).

HERE Graduates

HERE Program Graduates: Home for Environmentally Responsible Engineering (HERE) program seniors Katelyn Stenger and Daniel Wang discuss ways to improve recycling on campus. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Inaugural Student Group Leaves Sustainable Mark through Projects

Students with an interest in environmentally conscious engineering have changed the face of Rose-Hulman and are paving the way for a sustainable world through the Home for Environmentally Responsible Engineering (HERE) program. The seeds for this program were sown in the 2011-12 school year, and the inaugural group of HERE students is a part of the Class of 2015.

Along the way, HERE program students learned how to keep an open mind, consider their impact on the world and think "think outside the box," says A.J. Carr, a senior mechanical engineering student. "Sustainability is a mindset, not just a field," she says.

Katelyn Stenger, a senior mechanical engineering student, is preparing for a postgraduate job with an architectural firm where she will help design the façade for a LEED-certified skyscraper in New York City. Meanwhile, Braxton Carter, a senior biology major, will be studying bioenergy at the University of Illinois next year, while Matt Hayes, a senior mechanical engineering major, expects to find ways to reduce waste in his role as an engineer working in the plastics industry.

"Sustainability is about making sure future generations can survive," Hayes says.

Pete G Commencement Walk

Preparing For Final Campus Walk: Pete Gustafson will lead the processional for the Class of 2015 for the final time as vice president for student affairs and dean of students. He is retiring on June 30 after 38 years of service to the institute. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Pete Gustafson Leading Final Procession as Vice President for Student Affairs

The upcoming commencement will be the final time that Pete Gustafson leads the processional as grand marshal, retiring later this summer as vice president for student affairs and dean of students. He has helped nurture Rose-Hulman's student-centered, family-oriented campus atmosphere in a 38-year career in which he has been responsible for all aspects of student-life operations. These feature residence life, dining services, athletics, performing arts, career services, housekeeping services, sports and recreation, public safety, and health and counseling services.

Gustafson has overseen the addition of three new residence halls to allow more upperclass students to enjoy campus living, a doubling in the size of the Hulman Memorial Student Union to meet the demands of an increasing student enrollment, and made a successful transition to a coed student body.

Pete's wife, Donna, has served as dean of student services for 38 years, meaning that the couple has been an important part of campus life for a combined 76 years.

Recently, alumni joined faculty and staff members in donating more than $110,000 to establish a new scholarship fund in honor of the Gustafsons. The Parents' Association also announced an annual award to recognize the couple's commitment to the institute's students.

Four faculty members with 152 years of combined service to Rose-Hulman are also retiring at the end of this academic year: Ronald S. Artigue, PhD, professor of chemical engineering; Bruce Black, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering; J. Darrell Gibson, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering; and Keith Hoover, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering.