Summer Start Ceremonies to Celebrate Students’ Next Giant Leaps

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will celebrate the academic achievements of nearly 1,700 students at two summer commencement ceremonies on August 6.

1,699 students are eligible to participate in the ceremonies – 510 undergraduate, 756 master’s, 407 doctoral. and 26 candidates for the professional program. Two posthumous degrees will be awarded: a Master of Science degree to Elif Ilkel of the Brian Lamb School of Communication and a Bachelor of Science degree to John Zachary Linzey of Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

The ceremonies will take place as follows:

  • Division I – 9:30 a.m., Aug. 6. Applicants for undergraduate, masters and professional programs in all schools and colleges.
  • Division II – 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Ph.D. candidates in all schools and colleges.

Purdue alumnus Paul K. Kearns will be the keynote speaker at the morning ceremony. Clint Chapple, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the College of Agriculture, will be the keynote speaker at the afternoon ceremony.

Kearns is the director of the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. It manages a growing multidisciplinary science and engineering research center with a diverse $1.2 billion research portfolio and more than 3,300 employees, 8,000 facility users and 800 visiting researchers. Kearns served as Chief Operating Officer of Argonne from 2010 to 2017. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the DOE National Laboratory Directors’ Council and the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers of the US Council on Competitiveness. He holds a PhD and MS in Bionucleonics and a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Science, all from Purdue.

Chapple earned his BSc and MSc in Botany and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Guelph. After his postdoctoral research at Michigan State University in the DOE Plant Research Lab, he joined Purdue. He served as head of the biochemistry department from 2008 to 2015. From 2015 to 2020, he served as director of the Purdue Center for Plant Biology. He has received numerous awards, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Association of Plant Biologists, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.

William Raymer will give the student response at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Raymer receives his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. Raymer grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before moving to Utah when he was 16. He earned a BS in Mathematics and Statistics (Composite) from Utah State University and was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He was selected to become an officer in the US Space Force. Raymer will be pursuing his Ph.D. studying at Purdue in the fall and, upon graduation, will serve as a space operations officer with the U.S. Space Force.

Tickets are required for admission to Elliott Hall of Music. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. All participants with bags must have their bags checked at the entrance gate. Additional information is available on the Early Summer 2022 page.

The launch ceremonies will be broadcast live.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the past four years as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers groundbreaking research and groundbreaking discoveries. Committed to hands-on, online, real-world learning, Purdue provides transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap to

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