SEAS graduates celebrate accomplishments, remember losses

Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor
Graduates and their families packed the Smith Center on Friday to receive degrees from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor
School of Engineering and Applied Science graduates heard inspirational words from a successful chief executive officer Friday, but the ceremony was also marked by moments to remember students who died this semester.

Here are highlights from the event’s speeches:

1. Guess what? Engineers can manage people, too

LGS Innovations CEO and alumnus Kevin Kelly urged the graduating engineers to pursue leadership roles, embrace CEO titles and dive into the business world. Kelly, who earned a master’s degree from the engineering school in 1998, countered the stereotype that engineers and computer scientists are introverts, encouraging graduates to remain flexible in pursuing their careers.

SEAS graduates should be open to job offers beyond engineering, he said, but remain loyal to the “science and discipline” they were taught in the school.”

2. SEAS remembers tragedies

Geneva Goodwood, the school’s distinguished scholar, focused on the “SEAS community” that defined her time at GW. She shared memories from eating pizza with classmates on the Tompkins Hall lawn on their first day as college students to taking the class photo on the building’s steps, each dressed in cap and gown.

Goldwood, a mechanical engineering major, paused to note the sense of loss that the school experienced following the three suicides on campus this semester. Freshmen Sean Keefer and Ben Asma studied computer science and biomedical engineering, respectively, and Lynley Redwood would have graduated this weekend with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

3. “Never forget those failures and never forget today.”

Student speaker Natalie Trochimiuk called on her classmates to use their failures as motivation to succeed. Trochimiuk, a systems engineering major, talked about a statistics test she failed even after she “gave it her all” studying for it. She told her peers to be proud of their accomplishments, but always remember past failures and aim to “defeat failure” in the future.

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