Cheers, Energy, Excitement Fill City Center as Class of 2007 Urged to Stay Ahead of Innovation Curve

Left to right: William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering; Padmasree Warrior, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Motorola Inc.; Jerry M. Hultin, president, Polytechnic University; Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2007 Commencement Album

Three celebrated leaders with illustrious careers in business, academia and the military received honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees at Polytechnic’s 152nd Commencement ceremony. Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., vice chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s second highest ranking military officer; Padmasree Warrior, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Motorola Inc.; and William A. Wulf; president of the National Academy of Engineering and vice chair of the National Research Council echoed a common theme in their remarks to the Class of 2007: Stay ahead of the innovation curve and make the world a better place through technological vision and leadership.

President Jerry M. Hultin urged the graduates to keep three words in mind -- innovation, impact and goals – as they go on to change the world. “You are now PolyThinkers and possess the scientific, technological and entrepreneurial skills with which to make an impact,” he said. “Be creative. Poly has provided you with a foundation upon which you can invent and innovate. We are counting on you.”

Eugene Klitenik, who graduated with an astounding 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) and earned a bachelor’s in computer engineering and a master’s in electrical engineering, encouraged his classmates to say positive in his valedictory address. “Never be afraid of a challenge,” he said, “and remember that important people have to make important decisions.”

The Polytechnic Alumni Outstanding Graduate Award was presented to Jelena Culic-Viskota, who earned a master’s in chemical and biological engineering with a 3.87 GPA. In September, she will enroll in a doctoral program at the California Institute of Technology.

Walter Zurawsky, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, received the Jacobs Distinguished Teacher Award. In presenting the award, Erich Kunhardt, provost and chief academic officer, cited Zurawsky’s “unwavering and singular commitment” and his “steadfast patience, insightful counsel and good humor” as some of the virtues that make him a student favorite.

The 2007 commencement ceremony culminated with the conferring of 329 bachelor’s, 448 master’s and 22 PhD degrees at New York City Center on June 3.