STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Amanda Richards Graduates From WPI

WORCESTER, MA — On Saturday, May 12, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, over 1,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded during the university’s 150th commencement ceremony.

Amanda Richards of Wilmington, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering with distinction.

The keynote address was given by Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream, and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. The book, which was made into a major motion picture in 2016, shares the history of the black female mathematicians who were part of NASA’s workforce from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Shetterly told the graduates that the problems they will be asked to solve “will demand your skills as a professional, but they’ll also require you to draw on your deepest well of humanity,” saying that science and the humanities are “both rooted in the same motivation, which is to measure and understand the nature of the world, and to make the human world a better place.”

During the ceremony, Shetterly received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, and Philip Ryan ’65, former chairman of the Board of Trustees who served as interim president of WPI in 2013-14, received an honorary doctor of engineering degree.

In her remarks, President Leshin reminded members of the Class of 2018 that she had arrived on campus when they did, having begun her presidency just a few weeks before their move-in day in 2014.

Leshin concluded by telling the graduates, “With your talent and your WPI education, we know that you will do well in your career, and do well for your families. My charge to you, Undergraduate Class of 2018, is that you also be sure to do good-for your community, for your nation, for the planet, and for all those who will follow in your footsteps.”

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

(NOTE: The above announcement is from WPI via Merit.)

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