Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering graduates first Ph.D.s, Biomedical Engineering class

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering graduates first Ph.D.s, Biomedical Engineering class

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Jacob Culleny addresses the 2018 graduates of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

The Rowan University college that has enjoyed so many firsts in its 22-year history enjoyed two more during its Commencement 2018 ceremony on May 10.

The Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering graduated its first class of biomedical engineering students (35 strong) and its first Ph.D. students (Paul Partyka, Thomas Christiani and Muhammad Ridwan Murshed).

There was more. “Your class is special. You’re the largest graduating class, 307 undergraduates . . . today,” said Dr. Anthony Lowman, dean, who cited the class for, among other attributes, its entrepreneurial spirit.

(To see photos of the day and all Commencement 2018 activities as they become available, check out Rowan on Facebook.)

Medal of Excellence in Alumni Achievement Award winner Anthony Marino

What he called the “construction class” – which lived through the upheaval of the building of Engineering Hall – always found its way to get things done exceptionally well. “You really pushed the envelope,” Lowman said, noting among other accomplishments members of the class were sending a satellite on a NASA mission, conducted research for industry and the Department of Defense, and won numerous awards in automotive engineering. And, the dean pointed out, the College now ranks 19th in the nation among undergraduate engineering programs.

Virginia Rowan Smith echoed the dean’s pride. Smith, daughter of benefactors Henry M. and Betty Rowan, who in 1992 gave the $100 million to then-Glassboro State College that in part created the innovative engineering program, acknowledged the growth of the College and its recent expansion into graduate programs. “In five years,” she said, “the College has produced groundbreaking research at an incredible pace.”

She added, referencing her late father’s statement that the world needed not simply more engineers but more great engineers, “When Henry Rowan spoke about great engineers, he was talking about you.”

The College presented its Medal of Excellence in Alumni Achievement Award to Anthony Marino, a two-time graduate of Rowan Engineering (B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2002 and M.S. in Engineering in 2003), systems engineer manager for Lockheed Martin and chair of the College’s Alumni Advisory Council. He shared his experiences as a student and as a professional and his assessment of the College: “Trust me when I say we can compete with anybody.”

Student speaker Jacob Culleny, electrical and computer engineering, shared memories, humor and wisdom, talking about ramen noodles, the start of Women in Engineering, a peer who planned an IEEE conference, work by students to develop hydrogels to treat disc issues and a professor’s well-known hair. “The Rowan we started out in as freshmen is not the Rowan we are graduating from,” said Culleny, challenging fellow grads to think about the impact they are going to make on the world. “. . . No matter what path we took, we have all been transformed.”