More than 700 Clarkson University students from 29 states, 34 countries and 58 New York state counties were granted bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Clarkson University on Saturday.
United States Army and United States Air Force officers were also commissioned on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Bridges to Prosperity CEO Avery Bang spoke and receieved honorary degrees.
Senior Nicholas F. Marshall of Huntington, Vt., was awarded the Levinus Clarkson Award, and senior Pinguang Yang of Brooklyn, N.Y., received the Frederica Clarkson Award. Both are $1,000 prizes given to "a student who demonstrates the best combination of scholarship and promise of outstanding professional achievement," according to Clarkson.
Stephen T. Casper, an associate professor of history in the School of Arts & Sciences, was awarded the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award. The $1,500 research accounts are presented to "faculty members who have shown promise in engineering, business, liberal arts or scientific research," the school said in a news release.
Brian T. Helenbrook, an associate professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award. The $1,500 prize is given "in recognition of the importance of superior teaching," Clarkson said.
"As you embark on this incredible journey beyond Clarkson, I really suggest to you just one thing," Bang itold the students. "Don't question your ability. Don't get too wrapped up about which grad school to go to or what job or what salary point. Your success is forthcoming, I promise."
My teachers began to build my self-confidence," Chu told the audience. "And from what I've seen of Clarkson, there's a lot of that going on here.
"I learned early in life that failing is actually OK. It's important to fail. And I tell my students that if you live your life without failures, then that's the biggest failure of your life. You would have never known what you could've done."
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer was also present.
In closing, Chu said, "I'm going to leave you with this thought. As I stand before
you, old and gray, you have your life before you. Time will flash by faster than you
can imagine. So do what excites you, what you care about. Do something you really
believe in. Above all, enjoy life."