July 23, 2019

Purdue’s August commencement set to celebrate graduates

august-commencement Students and faculty prepare for the 2018 Summer Commencement ceremony at Purdue last August. This August, more than 1,400 students will receive their degrees from Purdue in West Lafayette. (Purdue University photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — More than 1,400 students will become alumni during an August commencement ceremony at Purdue University.

 Purdue alumnus James Thomson, president emeritus of the Rand Corp., a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution that helps improve policy and decisions through research and analysis, will be the keynote speaker for Purdue’s summer commencement ceremony on Aug. 3.  

Thomson served as CEO of Rand from 1989 to 2011. He began working at Rand in 1981. He is also an internationally known expert on defense and arms control issues and has served on the staff of the White House National Security Council and the Department of Defense.

Thomson holds an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of New Hampshire, and master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Purdue. He also holds honorary doctorates from both his alma maters and from Pepperdine University.

thomson-19 James Thomson
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Thomson served as CEO of Rand from 1989 to 2011. He began working at Rand in 1981. He is also an internationally known expert on defense and arms control issues and has served on the staff of the White House National Security Council and the Department of Defense.

Thomson holds an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of New Hampshire, and master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Purdue. He also holds honorary doctorates from both his alma maters and from Pepperdine University.

The summer commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 3 at Elliott Hall of Music. About 1,491 students are eligible for degrees, with 535 undergraduates, 952 graduate and four professional program students eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Tickets are required for admission to Elliott Hall of Music. Doors open 90 minutes before the ceremony. All attendees with bags will need to have their bags checked at the door for entry into the Hall of Music.

The commencement exercises will be livestreamed at http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/z5pge, and the video will play once broadcasting starts.

President Mitch Daniels will attend the ceremony, and Matthew C. Pharris of Phoenix, Arizona, will give the student response. Pharris is receiving his doctorate in biomedical engineering. He also received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue. He served in Purdue Graduate School Government for three years, culminating with his term as chair of the Graduate School Senate. He was one of five recipients of the Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Awards. He also co-authored six research publications and delivered nine poster or platform presentations. He is now working in a post-doctoral fellowship with AstraZeneca analyzing clinical trial data for predicting cardiovascular patient outcomes.

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Source: Christine Pass, 765-494-6163, dehahn@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: For media credentials at the West Lafayette campus, please contact Matthew Oates, Purdue News Service, at 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu.

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