The Tickle College of Engineering recognized two hundred ninety graduates at the Spring 2014 commencement ceremony at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.
Parents, friends, and family were present for the ceremony, which started at 1:00 p.m. with a procession of faculty from both the college and the university.
University of Tennessee president Joe DiPietro, Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, and Dean Wayne Davis led the procession, with Associate Dean Masood Parang handling the emcee honors for the event.
The keynote address was given by Kathy Caldwell, a 1985 graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Caldwell held a number of civil engineering jobs throughout the south before becoming president of JEA Construction Engineering Services Incorporated in Gainesville, Florida. She has since retired, and she and her husband, Ron Cook—who earned both his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1975 and his Master's in 1981 from UT—now run a private consulting firm.
Caldwell served as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2011, and serves on the Board of Directors of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES). She has testified about transportation before Congress and served as a "Champion for Change" for the White House.
In her address, Caldwell told the story of Henry Knox, for whom Knox County and Knoxville were named. She related how his breakthrough success was engineering a way for Continental Army cannons to climb a hill overlooking the British occupation of Boston, and how UT's engineers have also had to climb the Hill to get their education, concluding by encouraging them to never stop climbing.
The college's top students, Samantha Ann Hawks and Rebekah Kathryn Patton, both of the Department of Chemical Engineering, were recognized, as was the Department of Nuclear Engineering's Blake Alexander Palles for being the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholar.
Special recognition was also given to the college's ambassadors—Paige Louise Black (Mechanical Engineering), Joshua Michael Clark (Computer Science), Toniqua Shaunte Hunter (Mechanical Engineering), Emily Anne Leturno (Mechanical Engineering), Rebekah Kathryn Patton (Chemical Engineering), David Aaron Seeman (Mechanical Engineering), and Victoria Dixie Vest (Biomedical Engineering).
Following the conclusion of the conferral of degrees and the reading of names, US Air Force Lt. Colonel Brian J. Lancaster swore in engineering graduates Phillip A. Butler, Harrison A. Jerrolds, and Henry N. Loewenkamp as the Air Force's newest Second Lieutenants, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd.
The ceremony concluded with the UT Alma Mater.
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