The School of Engineering celebrated its outstanding undergraduate and graduate students during a gala evening ceremony on February 22nd. The event, organized to coincide with National Engineers Week, was held at the newly renovated Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the Storrs campus.
An estimated 500 students, parents and friends, donors and faculty attended the reception and scholarship awards ceremony. During the pre-award reception, visitors browsed poster exhibits summarizing student research projects, enjoyed a lively performance by popular UConn a capella group Extreme Measures, savored Mardi Gras-themed foods and decorations, and networked with donors, friends and faculty.
School of Engineering Dean Mun Y. Choi opened the official ceremonies by recognizing and thanking the alumni and corporate donors and friends in the audience, whose generosity supports the 235 scholarships, totaling more than $393,000, which were presented to continuing engineering students during the event. Recipients were selected for their academic excellence and leadership qualities.
Guest speaker Dr. Nancy Bull, Vice Provost for Academic Administration, welcomed the audience with a recitation of the famous Shaker “Simple Gifts” song written in 1848. Stating “Tonight is about gifts, simple gifts,” Dr. Bull repeated the refrain throughout her remarks, noting the importance of donors as gift givers, the students as recipients of scholarship gifts, the musical performers for their gift of song, parents whose gifts of love and support sustain their children, and instructors whose gift of teaching helps the scholars succeed. Remarking on the enormous impact of one simple gift, she reminded the audience that the 1880 gift of 170 acres of farm land and $5,000, presented by Charles and Augustus Storrs, grew into the University of Connecticut as it stands today, with more than 4,000 acres and 30,000 students. In concluding her remarks, Dr. Bull exhorted students to think about ways they, too, can give something back to complete the circle of giving.
Over the next hour, 235 undergraduate engineering students crossed the stage to receive their scholarship certificates and congratulations from the School of Engineering’s administrators. Also feted were 145 engineering graduate students who have been awarded competitive federal fellowships in support of their exceptional research.
Dean Choi congratulated the outstanding students on their achievements and expressed pride in the quality and generosity of the UConn engineering community.