Purdue’s annual Rite of Spring: Graduates happy to walk through Elliott’s stage during spring ceremonies


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The small steps they have taken over the past few years will soon culminate for many Purdue University students. They will graduate in the next phases of their lives.

Purdue University’s Spring Kickoff is scheduled for May 13-16, with seven ceremonies, each at the Elliott Hall of Music on campus.

8,131 students are eligible to participate in the ceremonies, including 6,257 undergraduates, 1,180 masters, 454 doctors of philosophy and 240 candidates for the professional program.

The ceremonies will take place as follows:

  • Division I — Friday, May 13. 2:30 p.m. College of Agriculture and College of Engineering (Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science Engineering)
  • Division II — Friday, May 13. 7:00 p.m. College of Engineering (Aeronautics and Astronautics, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Construction Management Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Multidisciplinary Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering)
  • Division III — Saturday, May 14. 9:30 a.m. College of Science and College of Veterinary Medicine (undergraduate and professional).
  • Division IV — Saturday, May 14. 2:30 p.m. College of Liberal Arts and School of Management.
  • Division V — Sunday May 15. 9:30 a.m. College of Health Sciences and Humanities (undergraduate and professional).
  • Division VI — Sunday, May 15. 2:30 p.m. College of Education, College of Pharmacy (undergraduate and professional), and Purdue Polytechnic Institute (undergraduate and professional).
  • Division VII — Monday, May 16. 9:30 a.m. Doctoral School (Masters and Doctor of Philosophy — all schools and colleges).

Tickets are required for admission to Elliott Hall of Music. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. All attendees will have all bags they carry checked at the gate to enter the Hall of Music. Purdue will offer an overflow room in Fowler Hall at the Stewart Center for guests without tickets to view a live stream. All ceremonies will be broadcast live. For those with tickets to attend in person, parking information is available online.

Purdue Chairman Mitch Daniels will host each of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday ceremonies.

Dr. Deborah W. Knapp, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Oncology and Director of Purdue’s Comparative Oncology Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, will be the guest speaker at the Division VII ceremony. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in bladder cancer and comparative oncology.

Honorary doctorates

Three people will receive honorary doctorates at the start. Edmund O. Schweitzer III will receive an honorary doctorate of engineering from the College of Engineering at the Division II ceremony, Jill Hruby will receive an honorary doctorate of engineering from the College of Engineering at the Division I ceremony. John Krenicki Jr. will receive an honorary doctorate in management from the School of Management at the Division IV ceremony.

  • Edmund O. Schweitzer III is recognized as a pioneer in digital protection and holds the rank of Fellow of the IEEE. In 2012, Sweitzer received the 2012 Medal in Electrical Engineering, the highest honor given by the IEEE, for his leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computerized protection and control.

Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue and his doctorate from Washington State University. He founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. in 1982 to develop and manufacture digital protection relays and related products and services. SEL operates a facility in the Discovery Park District at Purdue.

Schweitzer has authored dozens of technical articles in the areas of digital relay design and reliability and holds over 200 patents. In 2019, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the first digital protection relay.

Schweitzer and his wife, Beatriz, were honored in October 2020 with the renaming of Purdue Polytechnic High School‘s flagship campus for their $4 million commitment to programs and scholarships to support underrepresented students. Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center in Englewood celebrated its first class last year, with many Purdue attendees.

• Jill Hruby was sworn in as the US Department of Energy’s Undersecretary for Nuclear Security in July. She spent over 34 years at Sandia National Laboratories, serving the Center for Materials Science and Engineering and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Systems.

Hruby was the first Sam Nunn Distinguished Fellow of the Nuclear Threat Initiative from 2018 to 2019. She has served on various technical advisory committees and boards of nonprofit organizations.

In 2016, Hruby received the Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award from the Society of Women Engineers. In 2017, Business Insider named her the second most powerful female engineer.

• John Krenicki Jr. is Vice Chairman of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, one of the world’s leading private equity investment firms. He joined Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2013 after a 29-year career at General Electric. He is a former vice president of GE and former president and CEO of GE Energy. His responsibilities included overseeing GE’s oil and gas, power and water, and energy management businesses.

A Purdue alumnus, Krenicki earned his master’s degree in management from Krannert’s executive education programs.

Krenicki and his wife, Donna, have made major gifts to establish the Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning, the John and Donna Krenicki directorate of the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience, and the Krenicki family directorate in inflammation, immunology and infectious diseases . These institutes pursue research to alleviate suffering associated with trauma, disease or disorders of the brain and nervous system. They also seek to diagnose and treat many of the world’s most common diseases.

Student sponsors at each ceremony

Each undergraduate division will include one student meeting:

  • Grace Hasler of Columbus, Indiana, who is to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Agriculture, will be the sponsoring student at the Friday afternoon ceremony (Division I).
  • Jace Newell of Maple Grove, Minnesota, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Engineering, will be the student sponsor at the Friday afternoon ceremony (Division II). Newell is also a student at John Martinson Honors College.
  • Tom Appenzeller of West Lafayette, Indiana, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Science, will be the student sponsor at the Saturday morning ceremony (Division III).
  • Jack Horoho of Warsaw, Indiana, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Management, will be the student sponsor at the Saturday night ceremony (Division IV).
  • Parikshit Pawar of Austin, Texas, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Health and Human Sciences, will be a student speaker at the Sunday morning ceremony (Division V).
  • Jaqueline Krutsch of Evanston, Illinois will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Education at the Sunday afternoon ceremony (Division VI). Krutsch is also a student at John Martinson Honors College.

Best Student Awards

The Flora Roberts Award and the GA Ross Award are Purdue’s two most prestigious honors for outstanding senior woman and outstanding senior man at the university.

Roy S. Ramirez of San Jose, Costa Rica received the GA Ross award. Ramirez graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in December 2021. He minored in Management and French. Learn more about Ramirez’s work online.

This award is given annually to an outstanding man in the Class and is made possible by a donation from Ross, a dedicated alumnus and benefactor of Purdue from the Class of 1916. The recipient receives a $2,000 prize, a medallion and his name permanently inscribed on the price marker on the Purdue Engineering Mall.

Emma G. Gausman of Batesville, Indiana, received the Flora Roberts Award. Gausman receives a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science and a Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science. Watch a video about Gausman online.

The award is presented annually to the outstanding senior woman to honor her scholarship, leadership, character, and service to the academic community. The award was made possible by a bequest from Flora Roberts of the Purdue Class of 1887. The recipient receives a $2,000 prize, a medallion, and their name permanently inscribed on the award marker in the Purdue Engineering Mall.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the past four years as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers groundbreaking research and groundbreaking discoveries. Committed to hands-on, online, real-world learning, Purdue provides transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. Find out how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer: Margaret Mower

Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (mobile), [email protected], @mo_oates;

Source: Christine Pass, [email protected]

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