Congratulations, Class of 2015!

May 21 2015 | By Melanie A. Farmer | Photos: Eileen Barroso

Nearly 1,000 future engineers and applied scientists participated on Engineering Class Day May 18, 2015, with faculty, alumni, families, and friends. Keynote speaker Ben Horowitz ’88CC gave a rousing and humorous talk to the new graduates. Among many witty life quips, Horowitz, of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, advised the Class of 2015 to actually avoid “following your passion” but rather, “follow your contribution.”

“Find the thing that you’re great at, contribute to the world, help others,” he said. “That is the thing to follow.”

In her remarks, Dean Mary C. Boyce underscored the time is ripe for engineers.

“Engineering is now recognized as a foundational degree that prepares you for any career for any future,” she said. “Today the impact of engineering has never been more visible. Society looks to engineering for solutions to the many challenges facing our world—whether energy, water, air, the environment, food security, privacy, health, and medicine. Engineering is transforming nearly every aspect of our lives.”

University Provost John Coatsworth added to this sentiment, emphasizing how much the School has grown in recent years, particularly in the increasingly vital role it plays in many University initiatives, from entrepreneurship and personalized medicine to global research and freedom of expression.

“In today’s world, you simply cannot have a great university without having a great engineering school and at Columbia we have both,” he said. “This growth of Engineering at Columbia reflects the growing appreciation of engineering’s place in society as a whole. As Mary has astutely pointed out, we are now living in a true renaissance for engineering, a basic truth that’s evident to anyone who looks clearly at the modern world.”

Two days later at the University-wide Commencement, Boyce officially congratulated and honored the graduating class of 2015 in a ceremony led annually by University President Lee C. Bollinger. This year nearly 15,000 graduates from Columbia’s 18 schools and affiliates earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in multiple disciplines.