Congratulations Anteater Engineering Class of 2024!

The Samueli School of Engineering awarded approximately 113 doctorates, 275 master’s degrees and 827 bachelor’s degrees at its commencement ceremony on June 16, 2024. Steve Zylius

June 25, 2024 - “Today is the culmination of one of the greatest adventures of your life, an epic journey, a high mountain to climb,” said UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman to the 2024 class of Anteater engineers at the Samueli School of Engineering commencement ceremony on June 16. “You’ve done an amazing job. You have enriched our lives greatly and on behalf of all of us, our heartfelt congratulations, you are now an Anteater for life.”

This year’s commencement coincided with Father’s Day, and the Bren Events Center was overflowing with families, friends and well-wishers. The Samueli School of Engineering awarded approximately 113 doctorates, 275 master’s degrees and 827 bachelor’s degrees.

Joyce Chen, student commencement speaker, wished all the fathers a happy Father’s Day and thanked them for sharing the day. She expressed her hope that as engineers, her class would have more than the head knowledge to solve problems but the heart to do it with integrity.

Guest speaker Lindsey Spindle, president of the Samueli Family Philanthropies, told the students “No matter how far you go from the University of California, Irvine, you will remain forever interconnected.” Steve Zylius

Chen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and is from a family of Anteaters. She is also a lead engineer in an award-winning medical device designed to improve women’s health careShe encouraged her peers to play the long game, “not for some prize we wish to win but for those who surround us right now. May our vision inspire hope to dream grander dreams than what’s in front of us, and may our passion be a fire that cannot be quenched,” she said. “The long game is a team sport and a lot more fun when we play together. Congratulations Class of 2024, our training might be over but the long game has just begun.”

Samueli School Dean Magnus Egerstedt introduced the featured commencement speaker Lindsey Spindle, president of the Samueli Family Philanthropies. Spindle reminded students that four years ago, they were graduating high school on Zoom. “Today you stand here as deeply accomplished UCI graduates prepared to help solve our world’s biggest challenges -- like decarbonizing our economy, preventing another global pandemic or maybe even designing the next Peloton to start a fitness movement and improve people’s health.”

Samueli School Dean Magnus Egerstedt captures an epic selfie at the 2024 commencement ceremony June 16. Steve Zylius

She offered words of advice, some borrowed from her favorite Peloton instructors. “You are clipped in, ready to ride away from this extraordinary school of engineering, so drop your baggage, listen to others’ suggestions, but always own your decisions. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and know that we forever have our hands on your backs as you take to the road, ready to shine, lead and soar.”

Spindle also reminded the fresh alumni of their lifelong ties to UCI. “Graduating college is a bit like the principles of quantum entanglement, your particles are forever iinked to UCI, and UCI is forever linked to you,” Spindle said. “No matter how far you go from the University of California, Irvine, you will remain forever interconnected.”

In closing the ceremony, Egerstedt encouraged everyone to applaud the special guests in attendance, all those who supported and, in many cases, made great sacrifices so that students could graduate. He then congratulated students on behalf of the whole Samueli School of Engineering. “I want to tell you how incredibly proud we are of you. Even though we rightly brag about all the world class research that happens at our school, that pales in comparison to what we are celebrating here today. Because the number one thing we produce is people; people who go through our programs and go out into the world as researchers, educators, policymakers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.”

Graduates marched out of the center in procession and began their celebrations with families and friends, relieved that it was over and excited for the next chapter.

The Samueli School of Engineering commencement platform party practices their Zot, Zot, Zot! backstage.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Ken Chih who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. “I’m grateful for my family and friends, and proud of myself as well.”

Jimena Londono Naranjo earned a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and landed a position as a research and development engineer with MicroVention, an Orange County company that develops minimally invasive medical devices to treat neurovascular diseases. She said her UCI experience was of great help on her career path. “I learned really cool stuff, my professors were extremely helpful in guiding me toward the career I wanted, and I appreciate all of their support.”

Dean Egerstedt left the graduates with this exhortation, “I want to remind you of a quote from Spiderman’s uncle: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ And you now have a new superpower, you are Anteater engineers. use your superpower for good, leave the planet better than you found it.”

– Lori Brandt





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