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More Than 600 Students Receive Degrees at Clarkson's 114th Commencement Ceremony

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More than 600 Clarkson University students from 22 states, 24 countries and 57 New York state counties were granted bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Clarkson University's commencement today, Sunday, May 13. (Nearly 200 additional students received degrees at an earlier ceremony in December.) The weekend was also marked by the commissioning of United States Army and United States Air Force officers on Saturday.Commencement

Receiving honorary degrees and making short addresses were Santokh S. Badesha, Xerox Fellow at the Xerox Corporation; Engineer and construction executive Sandy S. Ginsberg; and Andrew C. Palmer, Keppel Chair Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the National University of Singapore.

Suresh Dhaniyala of Potsdam, an assistant professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, was the recipient of the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award. The $1,500 research account is presented to "faculty members who have shown promise in engineering, business, liberal arts or scientific research."

Senior Matthew R. Williams of Plymouth, Mass., was awarded the Levinus Clarkson Award, and senior Andrew T. Bingham of Enosburg Falls, Vt., received the Frederica Clarkson Award. Both are $1,000 prizes given to "a student who demonstrates the best combination of scholarship and promise of outstanding professional achievement."

In addressing the graduates, Santokh Badesha first told the class of 2007 to build networks to help them succeed in their jobs and harvest the massive amounts of scientific information being generated in laboratories and academia. He also reminded the audience that when they join industry the technical skills learned at Clarkson will be taken for granted. "How you work with others in a team is what will distinguish you from others," he said. The third piece of advice Badesha dispensed was to appreciate diversity. "I am not referring to color or race, but the diversity of perspective," he stated. "The days when geeks will make things happen in industry, without recognizing others' importance is gone in the industrial world." He also told the students to get involved in things not related to their skill sets in order to become more rounded and valuable to the organization. Finally, Badesha remarked, "Things like communications and demographics are changing rapidly in the workplace environment, recognize these changes and work with them."

Sandy Ginsberg told the students, "This is the greatest honor of my life, exceeded only by the birth of my three grandsons. Their education will be paid Grandpa, if they go to Clarkson and become civil engineers." He told the students that although he loved the book "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" over the course of his life he has come to learn that everything he needs to know he learned at Clarkson. "This includes the value of a great education, teamwork, friendships that last a lifetime and that a single, dedicated person can make a difference." He ended his remarks by sharing a favorite story about a man standing before God and crying "How can you allow all the devastation and misery in the world to take place. Why don't you send somebody to correct all of this?" God put his hand on the man's shoulder and said, "I did send someone. I sent you." Ginsberg told the graduates, "I expect great things from the Class of 2007."

Andrew Palmer began his address to the class of 2007 by telling a story about a newspaper that decided to ask three ambassadors what they would like to see for Christmas and the New Year. "I would like to see the triumph of a free enterprise system, victory over atheism and communism," remarked the American ambassador. "The triumph of socialism, power to the workers, liberation of people suffering under imperialism," said the ambassador of the former Soviet Union. "Well, that is very kind. I would rather like to see a box of crystallized fruit," replied the British ambassador.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

Photo captions: Clarkson students march across campus to the commencement ceremony. Graduate Elizabeth A. Urban, a civil engineering major from Waverly, N.Y., waits for the commencement march to begin.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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