Family, Friends and Faculty applaud ORIE's Class of 2014
More than 100 January and June 2014 ORIE graduates joined related independent study and double majors in a ceremony in Sage Chapel that celebrated the formal awarding of their Bachelor of Science degrees by Cornell President David Skorton at Schoellkopf Field earlier in the day.
Graduates, parents and friends were welcomed by Laibe-Acheson Professor and ORIE Director David Shmoys. In his remarks, Shmoys noted that these are auspicious times for ORIE graduates. “Decision making settings driven by data are everywhere,” he said. He thanked the parents for “the family warmth and support behind the students,” and urged the new graduates to “stay in touch – let us know what you are up to. We have the highest expectations for you.”
With the time-honored assistance of Acheson/Laibe Professor Emeritus John Muckstadt, Professor Peter Jackson, ORIE’s Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies (left), presented student awardees and degree recipients to the audience. Jackson began by noting that “the students I get to work with are the crème de la crème.” He demonstrated this by asking students involved in various activities to stand one group at a time: research, the Cornell Band and other musical organizations, athletics, team projects, club officers, tutoring, and community service, as well as members of the Dean’s list and the Omega Rho Honor Society. By the end, every new graduate was standing, to the applause of Jackson and the audience.
Jackson then announced specific awards, most named after historic figures in ORIE. The Byron W. Saunders Award to the top students in ORIE went to Lemuel Kumarga, Steven Lau, and Brooks Hoffecker (at left).
Hoffecker, a dual major in ORIE and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, completed his BS degree in January and joined Microsoft as a supply chain manager, following two summers there as a program manager intern. Kumarga, from Singapore, also completed his BS degree in January, and joined Blackrock in New York City. Lau, from New York, is working for Goldman Sachs in the city. Byron W. Saunders was the director of the School of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, which became ORIE, and later served as the Dean of the University Faculty.
The Lynn E. Bussey and Allan H. Mogenson awards are in the form of fellowships in the ORIE Master of Engineering program. Bussey, an ORIE graduate, taught engineering economics at Cornell – his text, first published in 1978, is still in use.
The Bussey prize was awarded to Brian Fund (at right with Muckstadt), who is already pursuing the Financial Engineering Concentration. He is a summer intern in Southborough, MA, at investment, trading and technology firm Susquehanna International Group, and will complete the M. Eng. program in the fall.
Jennifer Shih, who served as co-President of the ORIE INFORMS chapter, received the Mogenson award, named after a 1930’s Cornell graduate who pioneered the concept of work simplification. Shih, from Westminster CO, is a summer intern at TimeWarner Cable. She began the M. Eng. program in the spring of 2014.
Merrill Presidential Scholars are selected to honor outstanding graduating seniors and the high school teachers and university faculty members who made important contributions to the students’ lives. ORIE graduate Manita Herlitz-Ferguson (left) was one of seven Merrill Presidential Scholars from the College of Engineering. A championship diver, she is on two Cornell all-time top 10 diving performance lists. She is from Larchmont NY and has joined Capital One in Chicago as a business analyst.
The Silent Hoist and Crane Award was established in 1950 for the purpose of "stimulating the thinking of engineering students with aptitude or special interest in the Art and Science of Material Handling." Although the competition is open to project teams throughout the College of Engineering, it typically goes to the top ORIE Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) projects and is awarded at the M. Eng. graduation ceremony.
As an ‘early admit’ to the M. Eng. program, Jason Wang (right) completed his BS degree and the first semester towards his M. Eng. degree in the same spring 2014 semester. He was recognized at the undergraduate ceremony as a member of the team that tied for second place in the Silent Hoist and Crane competition. He was co-President of the Cornell INFORMS chapter.
Following the awards announcement, Professor Jackson summoned each new graduate to the platform to receive the congratulations of the faculty and the applause of family, friends and fellow graduates.
The ceremony over, the new graduates filed down the Sage Chapel aisle, passed between ranks of the applauding faculty to the stirring music of Widor’s “Toccata” played by organist William Cowdery, and emerged into the brilliant sunshine of Ho Plaza - and their futures.
(photos: E. J. Cornelius)