Articles in Student Life

Graduates Urged To “Never Lose Your Love of Discovery” at 209th Commencement

Vice Chief of Naval Operations addresses Class of 2015 graduates


Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michelle Howard, the first female promoted to four-star Admiral and the first African-American woman to attain a four-star rank in the Department of Defense, urged graduates to remember their roots and “embrace your inner engineer,” at the 209th Commencement at Rensselaer May 30. “Whether or not you ever work… Read More

Rensselaer Presents Graduating Seniors With CLASS Awards

Students recognized during Zero Year Reunion Brunch

Prior to the 209th Commencement ceremony, the Division of Student Life carved out time to honor several graduating seniors as recipients of the CLASS Awards. The students were recognized for their achievements during the annual Zero Year Reunion Brunch, held May 22. In 2009, the Division of Student Life launched Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support… Read More

Student Profile: Jessica Wong

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences graduate shares her passion for graphic design

Jessica Wong

From the beginning, Jessica Wong says that she was drawn to not only the technical aspect of studying at a place like Rensselaer, but also wanted a program that would provide her with an opportunity to incorporate what she was learning into her current artistic skill-set. The Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC) major from… Read More

Student Profile: Zach Appio

Collaborating with artists, making films, pursuing a future in the film industry

Zach Appio

Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC) major Zach Appio says that he chose to study at Rensselaer to have the opportunity to study and graduate with his brother, who was already a student, and a desire to stay close to home. The Altamont, N.Y., native and accomplished multimedia artist will receive his bachelor’s degree from… Read More

Student Profile: Meghan Olson

Making connections, embracing entrepreneurship, honoring a mentor: School of Engineering graduate pens letter about how Rensselaer has changed her life


Five years have flown by for Rensselaer student Meghan Olson, who last year completed a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation, and Society. On Saturday, May 30, Olson will receive a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering during the Institute’s 209th Commencement ceremony, and begin a new chapter in… Read More

Service to Their Country

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Rensselaer


The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs at Rensselaer are elective programs for students who desire commissions in the United States Armed Forces. This year, 28 students will be graduating from the ROTC program, and starting active military service as officers with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Commissioning signifies the beginning of… Read More

Through the Years: Notable Moments in Commencement History

Locations, speakers, traditions, and more


As Rensselaer has evolved, so have its Commencement ceremonies. The Institute Archivists have provided the following interesting facts: The first Rensselaer Commencement was April 26, 1826, in the Old Bank Place in Troy. Asa Fitch, a member of the Class of 1827, recorded the event in his diary. The graduates delivered demonstration lectures on scientific… Read More

Class of 2015 Parting Gift Pays It Forward

Gift will fund scholarships for incoming freshmen to attend NRB overnight trips


Each year at Commencement, the graduating class presents the university with a unique and spirited gift. This year, members of the Class of 2015 have raised funds to support scholarships for members of the incoming Class of 2019 to participate in a Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond overnight trip of their choice. “The Class of 2015… Read More

Hail and Farewell: Meet the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 2015

An overview of the 209th Commencement


This spring, 1,672 students will receive degrees from Rensselaer on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV) stadium. They represent the next generation of leaders, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, patent holders, game designers, architects, and innovators, in fields ranging from engineering to architecture, fine arts to science, game design… Read More

Student Profile: Trevor Phillippi

Exploring the electronic arts, hackathons, and landing a dream job

Trevor Phillipi

Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC) major Trevor Phillippi is on top of the world. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania, native and four-time intramural A-League basketball champion will receive his bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer at Commencement 2015 on May 30. “I liked RPI’s unique position of offering an interdisciplinary art/design curriculum, in addition to being able to… Read More