Academic excellence on display
The 2019 Commencement and Achievement Awards ceremony celebrated Tandon’s bright, hard-working scholars
The School of Engineering’s annual Commencement and Achievement Awards got their start more than 35 years ago, at the urging of senior university administrator Edward DeCarbo, Jr. and Professor Myron M. Rosenthal, who felt that a ceremony communally honoring stellar students from every department would be fitting, celebratory, and well-deserved. (Rosenthal went on to endow many awards, and his name is frequently evoked as the recipients are announced.)
Dean Jelena Kovačević, who made the opening remarks at the 2019 event, explained that the ceremony was providing her with a good chance to reflect on her first year at the helm of the school and said, “When I see all of you and hear what you’ve accomplished this year, I know that putting students first, which is one of the major pillars of Tandon, is wise,” she said. “While it might sound like a cliché, I assure you that it’s not. It’s why your professors and teachers do what they do, and occasions like this one affirm that for us.”
Telling the audience that she would soon be attending her own daughter’s graduation, she said, “It’s an incredible time of life and very exciting to watch. I can definitely relate to the pride your parents are undoubtedly feeling now.” The audience was, indeed, filled with beaming parents and family members of all ages; in response to noise from some of the children in attendance, Dean Jelena good-naturedly remarked that they might be members of the Tandon Class of 2040.
One of those proud parents, who declined to give her name lest she embarrass her daughter with her maternal enthusiasm, summed up the feelings of many when she asserted, “This is wonderful, but what I really can’t wait for is to be at the Barclay’s Center for Commencement in a few days. Then you’ll really hear some cheering.”