Commencement coverage

Jun 21, 2004

It was a perfect day for almost 400 graduates to cap (and gown) off their years at Kettering. More than 2,000 friends and family were on hand to help celebrate their achievement.

More than 2,000 guests and almost 400 graduates attended spring commencement Saturday, June 19. Dr. John M. Samuels '66, senior vice president, Operations Planning & Support Norfolk Southern Corporation, who has spent his career keeping people and property safe on the country's railway lines, was presented an honorary doctor of Engineering degree.

"Thirty eight years ago when I sat where you are are today," Samuels said in his address to graduates, "I wondered if I was prepared properly as a Kettering/GMI graduate to be successful. Today I have the answer - yes." He told the assembled graduates that in large part, their success depended on their becoming leaders. He shared his own model for leadership and four keys to a successful career. The first was the ability to create a vision. The second he called "reality," what he described as goal setting. Third was the courage to make difficult decisions, and last was a strong sense of ethics. "I treat everyone below me the same way I treat everyone above me," he said, "and I always tell the truth."

Speaking on behalf of graduate students, Melvin Harder III thanked the professors in the graduate program for their dedication and the families of graduate students for their encouragement and support. "what makes Kettering special," said Harder, "is that it challenges its students in every way."

Undergraduate speaker Helen E. Deibel, Sobey Scholar and President's Medal recipient, told her classmates that the relationships they have built at Kettering will be invaluable in the years to come, adding, "the cooperative education we received at Kettering gave us experiences we could not have gotten in a classroom." Deilbel graduated cum laude with a bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering. 

A total of 273 undergraduates and 114 graduate students received degrees.

Summa Cum Laude (97.0-100): 6
Magna Cum Laude (94.5-96.9): 14
Cum Laude (92-94.4): 33


  • Helen Elizabeth Deibel
  • David Gary Johnston
  • Ross Michael Nelson
  • Sara Lyndsay Nelson
  • Jon Anders Ruud
  • Michelle Marie Walker
  • Qasar Naveed Younis

Helen Elizabeth Deibel

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Applied Mathematics, 1
  • Applied Physics, 3
  • Computer Engineering, 18
  • Computer Science, 9
  • Electrical Engineering, 46
  • Environmental Chemistry, 1
  • Industrial Engineering, 19
  • Management, 20
  • Manufacturing Systems Engineering, 4
  • Mechanical Engineering, 152


Master's Degrees

  • Engineering, 15
  • Engineering Management, 2
  • Manufacturing Management, 22
  • Manufacturing Operations, 41
  • Operations Management, 34


Compiled by Pat Mroczek and Dawn Hibbard
(810) 762-9533
Photography by Dawn Hibbard and Gary Erwin