Wentworth Holds First Commencement as 'University'

August 21, 2017

Wentworth Holds First Commencement as 'University'

Wentworth Holds First Commencement as 'University'

BOSTON, Aug. 20, 2017 -- Wentworth’s Class of 2017 made history today, becoming the first students to receive diplomas under the Institute’s new status as a state-approved university in Massachusetts.

More than 650 students graduated at the university’s Summer Commencement ceremony at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

(See more photos below or at this link)

“This new status more accurately describes Wentworth and underscores our collaborative effort in developing the Institute into a full-fledged residential university,” said President Zorica Pantić.

Degrees were presented by the College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Architecture, Design, and Management, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

Featured speaker Art Zafiropoulo, EE ’60, described parents who escaped the ravages of World War I and found a better life in Boston. He received an honorary doctor of engineering degree for his innovative spirit and overall career success.

“We were poor, but I never felt poor. [My father] worked very hard and believed that education was necessary for a better life, and a sense of independence,” Zafiropoulo said.

Zafiropoulo said he took jobs ranging from cutting leather in a shoe factory to washing cars before attending Wentworth. His family taught him to always challenge himself, and Wentworth provided the skills that led him to a successful career in the semiconductor equipment industry. He eventually became president of global technology company Ultratech.

“Life is exciting,” he said. “Working hard and taking calculated risks can make your future successful and fun beyond your expectations.”

Student speaker Stephanie Crepeau, BCM ’17, stayed busy at Wentworth, with her own show on WIRE radio station, and in the Construction Management Club, Wentworth’s Office of Admissions, the Massachusetts Association of General Contractors, and Accelerate, Wentworth’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. She also has worked as a beekeeper on the side.

Crepeau urged her classmates to “embrace the unknown.”

(Watch Crepeau discuss her selection as student speaker)

“There is a change coming today whether you realize it or not,” she said. “[Change] is where the opportunities, excitement, and the chance to make a difference live.”

Sean Dwyer, BBME, received the prestigious Dr. H. Russell Beatty Award, given to top the undergraduate academic achiever.

Wentworth Alumni Association (WAA) President Candace Naste, BSA ’07, MARC ’10, presented alumni awards to Dhruv Patel, BSAM; Brianna Rozell, BBME; Matthew Heise, BSM; Catherine Lewis, BSCE; Robert Cheetham, BSCO; Joshua Rowe, BCOT; Zachary Peter, BSIS; Eric Alfano, BSCN; Jonathan Sudiaman, BCOS; Rodney Pinkham, BSCM; John Westerhof, BSEE; Cody Dutra, BEET; Peter Backus, BSEN; Jessy Lacaj, BFPM; Matthew Harrison, BIND; Tanner Dean, BINT; Christopher O’Connor Barrett, BSME; and Joseph Mancinelli, BPM.

Samantha Oliver, BSEE ’17, sung the National Anthem and Wentworth’s alma mater.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education approved Wentworth’s university designation in July. To obtain that status, the Institute needed to establish graduate programs in four “distinct professional fields of study” and demonstrate that it has “faculty, facilities, and resources necessary to support sound graduate programs.”

Over the past eight years, Wentworth has developed graduate programs in Design (Master of Architecture); Management (Master of Science in Construction Management, Master of Science in Facility Management, and Master of Science in Technology Management); Engineering (Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering); and Sciences (Master of Science in Applied Computer Science). The Institute has also been recognized as a university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and by U.S. News & World Report.

--Greg Abazorius

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