'IT' inventor at Commencement Friday

Nov 30, 2001

Kettering University will host Commencement services Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

Kettering University will host Commencement services Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

An honorary degree will be presented to the inventor of 'IT' - Dean Kamen of New Hampshire.

Here are the highlights:

  • 194 undergraduate degrees.
  • 93 graduate degrees.
  • 1 honorary degree - Doctor of Engineering to inventor Dean Kamen (photos and bio below).
  • Presiding is University President James E.A. John.
  • Grand Marshal is Professor Henry Kowalski.
  • Bagpipe honor guard provided by Professor Colin Jordan.
  • Sobey Scholars are undergraduate students Nicole Horst, Ruth Hojnacki, Amy Sanborn and Laurie Scott.
  • President's Medal winners are undergraduate students Antonio Cordova, Nicole Horst, Omar Martin, Mike Potempa and Amy Sanborn.
  • The first candidates from Kettering's master's of science degree in Manufacturing Operations at General Motors will graduate. The program was developed in 1998 as a partnership between GM and Kettering to meet the needs of GM's manufacturing workforce. The first MSMO grads are: Michael Scott Courter, Oxford, Mich.; Brian A. Fenner and Mark Witkiewicz, both of Moraine, Ohio; Mary Paine, Lapeer, Mich.; and Derreous Ransom, Auburn Hills, Mich.; Alan Jakubczak, Bay City.
  • Allow about two hours for the ceremony. No tickets are required for admission.
  • Free parking is available in all Kettering lots, including large lots behind the Rec Center/Thompson Hall and the Academic Building.

WHERE TO EAT AND STAY: Hotel and restaurant information is available by contacting the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211 or htpp://flint.org .

WHAT'S THE SCHEDULE: The day's schedule and more detailed information are available by visiting the Registrar's web site at: http://www2.kettering.edu/acad/acadserv/registr/public_html/graduation.htm.

DIRECTIONS, PLEASE: Directions to Kettering University are available at http://www.kettering.edu/Maps/index.htm

WHO TO CALL: More information on Commencement is available by calling 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585. If the Office of Public Relations and Communications can assist you, call (810) 762-9533.

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT:Dean Kamen, Manchester, N.H.President, DEKA Research & Development Corp., Founder, FIRST Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree

Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur and advocate for science and technology who believes that scientists will be the superstars of the 21st Century.

He was still an undergraduate when he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which gained rapid acceptance for chemotherapy, neonatology and endocrinology. In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps.

By age 30, he had added a number of other infusion devices, including the first insulin pump for diabetics. He sold AutoSyringe Inc. to Baxter International Corp. In 1982, he founded DEKA Research & Development Corp in Manchester, N.H. Mr. Kamen built his new business in the turn-of-the-century textile millyards on the Amoskeag River, where he pursues the next phase of the technological revolution on a site with a rich history from the industrial revolution.

Mr. Kamen's inventions include the heart stent used by Vice President Dick Cheney and the HomeChoice dialysis machine, which was named the 1993 Medical Product of the Year Award by "Design News." His latest invention, the Independence 3000 IBOT Transporter, was developed for Johnson & Johnson and is a personal transporter that climbs, traverses sandy and rocky terrain and provides extraordinary freedom for the disabled community. And the Harvard Business School Press has paid a quarter-million dollars for the rights on a book about an upcoming invention still called "IT" - a device that has been described as something that could transform our lives, our cities and our thinking.

A decade ago, he founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international high school robotics competition that Kettering University participates in. FIRST uses marketing and media techniques to motivate a new generation of students to learn about science and technology. He has personally recruited scores of top leaders from American industry, education and government to participate by teaming up professionals with high school students. FIRST also encourages local contests, like the Kettering Kickoff each September. The national contest is in Walt Disney World in Orlando and is now the largest non-Disney event at the Epcot Center.

With the success of FIRST Robotics Competition, Mr. Kamen's leadership then led to the creation of the FIRST LEGO League in 1999 as a means of expanding the reach of FIRST to expose younger children to science and technology fields.

He is the recipient of some of the country's most prestigious awards, including the 1994 Kilby Award, which celebrates extraordinary contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education; the 1995 Hoover Medal for innovative and imaginative leadership; the 1998 Heinz Award for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide; and the country's highest award for technology -- the 2000 National Medal of Technology presented by President Bill Clinton for medical and technology contributions.

He lives in a hexagon-shaped house of his own design atop a hill just outside Manchester, N.H.