Campus & Community

Stevens Celebrates its 152nd Commencement Exercises

More than 3,300 graduates of the Class of 2024 received degrees making it one of the largest classes in Stevens’ history

Sunny skies and a celebratory atmosphere set the stage for Stevens Institute of Technology’s 152nd Commencement Exercises held at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey earlier this week. Throughout the two ceremonies — undergraduate in the morning and graduate in the afternoon — surrounded by friends and family, the Class of 2024 received a number of thoughtful and memorable messages that share a common theme: Change the world and do it your own way.

Marques Brownlee delivering his 2024 commencement address on stage.Marques Brownlee '15Kathy CacicedoMarques Brownlee ’15, a YouTuber known as MKBHD and a professional Ultimate Frisbee player, returned to his alma mater nine years after his own graduation to address the undergraduate class. Reflecting on how quickly time had passed, he emphasized the importance of discovering and harnessing what he calls the most powerful tool: purpose.

“It won’t necessarily be a smooth ride finding what [purpose] is for you. Maybe you already know what it is, or maybe it just takes trying something, or taking a risk. And for some of you, just like me, it’s something that literally doesn’t exist yet,” he said. “But whatever it is you decide to do, making a dent in the universe is much easier when it’s a part of the universe that you care deeply about.”

Noted scientist, entrepreneur and global business leader Michael Kakos MMS ’71 addressed the graduate class, encouraging them to focus on their future but also to remember those who struggle.

A portrait of a man dressed in academic regaliaMichael Kakos MMS '71Kathy Cacicedo“Your communities need you. They need your technical and analytical skills to solve the world’s greatest challenges, and they need you to imagine a better future. The next significant advances will come from you — the Class of 2024 — and I am convinced that you will make an impact on a more just and peaceful world,” he said.

Speaking to both classes — one of the largest in Stevens’ 154-year-history with approximately 3,336 degrees conferred — President Nariman Farvardin acknowledged that the Class of 2024 entered Stevens during the Covid-19 pandemic but challenged the new graduates to embrace the spirit of disruption and use it as a catalyst for growth, both personally and professionally.

“Disruptive people and disruptive approaches can change the world. Armed with your education and experiences, you have the opportunity to make a real difference on a global scale. Whether it is developing new artificial intelligence algorithms, pioneering new technologies that improve health or following your passion as an entrepreneur, you have the power to shape the future,” he said. “Do not hesitate to be a disruptor.”

The student speakers drew on their own Stevens experiences to remind their classmates how they’ve learned to overcome obstacles.

Graduate speaker Rashi Wase, who received her master’s degree in applied artificial intelligence, reminded her classmates that they are ready for whatever challenges they may face.

“The spirit of perseverance, cultivated through our experiences at Stevens, equips us with the strength and determination needed to face the uncertainties and challenges awaiting us beyond these familiar grounds,” she said. “Let us carry the lessons we've learned, the memories we've made and the strength within us as we embark on the next chapter of our lives.”

Arianna Carmela Gehan, the undergraduate student speaker and member of the First in Class cohort who received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering took a straightforward approach when encouraging her classmates to bring about positive change.

“Ducks are resilient, community-driven, adventurous and unique. Take your degree, and more importantly, what you learned from being a duck, and use these skills to find your next flock and ‘duck’ up the world.”


Other highlights of the Commencement festivities include:

  • Jared Donnelly ‘24 was named the newest member of the Board of Trustees. He was nominated by members of his class and selected by the Board.

  • Professor Hongbin Li, Charles and Rosanna Batchelor Memorial Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science, received an honorary Master of Engineering degree for his “achievements as a technology researcher and educator, [his] efforts pushing the boundaries of radar and RF sensing technologies and [his] inspirational leadership helping advance the mission of Stevens Institute of Technology.”

  • Earlier in the week, a Faculty Awards Ceremony was held to celebrate faculty teaching, research, excellence and service.