Honoring 315 graduates

Jun 5, 2008

Kettering University will celebrate the accomplishments of 315 graduates and present two honorary degrees at Commencement at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 14, in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

Commencement is June 14

Innovation and technology will be the theme for Kettering University’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 14, in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

Kettering President Stan Liberty will preside at the 11 a.m. graduation services for 315 graduates (238 undergrads and 77 master’s candidates).  The grand marshal will once again be Dr. Henry Kowalski, professor of Mechanical Engineering. 

Two technology innovators, who helped propel their industries to new heights, will receive honorary degrees.  They are: Dr. Curtis R. Carlson, president and chief executive officer of SRI International, and the late David W. Hermance, a 1970 graduate of Kettering/GMI, who has been called “the ambassador for green cars” and “a giant in advanced vehicle technologies.”

Two graduates of Kettering’s Academically Interested Minorities program (AIM) are the undergraduate student speakers.  They are Gadryn Higgs and Stephanie Thach.  Higgs is from Freeport, Bahamas, and will receive a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Thach is from Flint and will receive a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

James Bendert of San Diego, Calif., will receive the Outstanding Thesis Award and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics.  His co-op was at Argonne National Labs in Argonne, Ill.  Bendert's thesis title is: "Diagnostics of PEM Fuel Cell Electrolytes by Raman Spectroscopy and AC Impedance Spectroscopy". It covers diagnostic study of cation impurities in PEM fuel cell electrolytes by Raman spectroscopy and AC impedance spectroscopy both in the pure membrane form and within the electrode. He was nominated by his faculty adviser Dr. Bahram Roughani, interim department head of Physics.

Here are the highlights of the upcoming ceremony:

Saturday, June 14, 2008, 11 a.m. 

  • Connie and Jim John Recreation Center 
  • No tickets required to attend Commencement 
  • Allow 1 1/2 hours for the ceremony 
  • Presiding: Kettering University President Stan Liberty
  • Grand Marshal: Dr. Henry Kowalski of Mechanical Engineering
  • Parking is free and available in all campus parking lots 
  • Information center will be on the first floor of the Campus Center (behind the elevators), outside BJ's Lounge, from 8:30 - 11 a.m. 
  • There is no graduation rehearsal
  • Total graduates: 238 undergraduates, 77 master’s candidates 
  • Graduates expecting to march: 144 undergraduates, 30 graduate 
  • Expected number of guests: 1,600 
  • Faculty will host a light breakfast in the International Room, Fifth Floor of the Campus Center, 8:30-10 a.m. 
  • Recreation Center doors open at 9 a.m. for visitors to arrive and be seated 
  • Faculty and staff members assemble for the Processional between 10-10:55 a.m. in the Third Floor, Recreation Center 
  • Graduates assemble on the first floor of the Campus Center (just outside BJ's Lounge) between 10:30-10:55 a.m.  
  • Formal processional begins at 11 a.m.

Dr. Curtis R. Carlson

President and Chief Executive Officer
SRI International
Menlo Park, California

Carlson will present the Commencement address.  He helped start and lead the high-definition television (HDTV) program that became the U.S. standard and won an Emmy Award for outstanding technical achievement.  Another team started and led by Carlson won an Emmy in 2000 for a system that measures broadcast image quality.  See his entire bio at: http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/storydetail.jsp?storynum=2765

David W. Hermance ’70


Executive Engineer for Advanced Technology Vehicles
Toyota Technical Center, USA
Gardena, California

Hermance has been called “the point man for an entire technology – the gasoline-electric hybrid.”  He died in November 2006 when his single-engine stunt plane crashed into the ocean near Los Angeles.  Hermance’s wife, Mary, and family members will accept a posthumous award.  See his entire bio at: http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/storydetail.jsp?storynum=2766.


Gadryn Higgs of Freeport, Bahamas (AIM graduate), Mechanical Engineering
Stephanie Thach of Flint (AIM graduate), Industrial Engineering

Summa Cum Laude (97.0-100) - 6
Magna Cum Laude (94.5-96.9) - 12
Cum Laude (92-94.4) - 29

Gadryn Higgs, Freeport, Bahamas;
Ken Luiten, Tucson, Ariz.;
Kristin Rice, Albany, N.Y.;
Robert Riggs, Spring, Texas; and
Ryan Sullivan, Ada, Mich.

Gadryn Higgs of Freeport, Bahamas;
Kristin Rice of Albany, N.Y.;
Ryan Sullivan, Ada, Mich.; and
Stephanie Welch of Clio, Mich.

James Bendert of San Diego, Calif.  


Undergraduate Degrees:

1          Applied Mathematics
4          Applied Physics
1          Biochemistry
2          Chemistry
5          Computer Engineering
4          Computer Science
35        Electrical Engineering
0          Engineering Physics
14        Industrial Engineering
14        Management
150      Mechanical Engineering
4          Dual (Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering)
2          Dual (Computer Science and Computer Engineering)
1          Dual (Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics)
1          Dual (Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering)
238     TOTAL

Master’s Degrees:
9          MBA
5          Engineering Management
9          Engineering
1          Information Technology
5          Manufacturing Management
33        Manufacturing Operations
12        Operations Management
2          Dual (Operations Management and MBA)
1          Dual (Engineering Management and MBA)
77        TOTAL 

FOR MORE ON COMMENCEMENT, visit: http://www.kettering.edu/registrar/commencement_information.jsp

HOTELS/RESTAURANTS: Contact the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211.

CAN WE HELP? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585.

Written by Patricia Mroczek