Congrats to the Class of 2018

2018 CommencementJune 25, 2018 - UC Irvine celebrated its 53rd Commencement over several days, June 15 – 18, with a flurry of ceremonies. The university awarded nearly 9,800 undergraduate and graduate degrees this academic year, with first-generation college students earning more than half the bachelor’s degrees.

Contributing to that total, the Samueli School of Engineering granted more than 720 bachelor’s, 170 master’s and 67 doctoral degrees.

The engineering school’s festivities kicked off Friday morning with the Commencement Celebration on Engineering Gateway Plaza, where seniors displayed their design project posters and prototypes for friends and family. Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington commended students for their successes and challenged them to take on the problems of today.

Washington and Associate Dean Michael Green led students in the Order of the Engineer oath at an induction ceremony in which the Anteaters promised to uphold the profession’s standards and dignity and accepted a steel ring to wear on their pinky finger.

In the afternoon, Washington welcomed faculty, students and their friends and family for the Senior Honor Society Stole Ceremony and reception. “Thank you for joining us to celebrate our students’ outstanding achievements,” he said. Five nationally recognized societies presented members with honor stoles and cords that would adorn students’ commencement regalia.

Samueli School Anteater engineers graduated Saturday, June 16, with UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman at the podium. “It is my sincere hope that UCI has cultivated and enriched both your mind and your spirit and prepared you for your ongoing development as a free and educated human being, and as having empowered you to push through to the world a little more light. As you know the UC motto is Fiat Lux, let there be light. You are the light and our hope for the future.”

UCI civil engineering alumnus John Labib ’94 delivered the commencement address. The successful founder and principal of his own structural engineering design firm, Labib has worked on the UCI Hospital, the Getty Villa renovation, Dodger Stadium and training facilities for the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.  Labib was inducted into the inaugural Samueli School of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015 and was named a 2017 Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumnus in Engineering. In his speech, he shared his reason for becoming an engineer. “I love seeing a project evolve from ideas and drawings and come to life. It is so satisfying to drive by a project and see a structure enhancing a community knowing I had a hand in building it.”

He went on the say, “Engineering is more than solving problems. It is often the mark of progress itself. Find your own brand of boldness and shine bright. Be the light of ingenuity.”

Student speaker Jessica Leal-Cruz, a materials science engineering major, told her classmates, “Today, we are the leaders and the mentors. We gain the voice and the power to lift others as we rise. Today, someone will see what we’ve accomplished and want to follow in our footsteps. Today, we take on the changes and innovations for our future. Today, we are engineers.”

For more photos, see our Facebook album.

– Lori Brandt

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