May 15, 2021

Purdue celebrates Class of 2021 with in-person ceremonies

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University celebrated the Class of 2021 with a special in-person ceremony on Saturday (May 15) at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The ceremony was for all undergraduate candidates (all schools and colleges), professional candidates (Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Pharmacy) and master’s degree candidates. There were 4,679 undergraduate candidates, 213 professional candidates and 612 master’s candidates who can now call themselves Purdue alumni.

In his keynote address to graduates, Purdue President Mitch Daniels talked about Boilermakers’ place as bold leaders and how their experiences at Purdue, particularly in navigating the pandemic as they completed their education, prepared them.

New Purdue graduates Purdue University graduates pose for photos in Ross-Ade Stadium during Purdue’s spring commencement. More than 5,500 students participated in the ceremony. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca McElhoe)

The Graduate School will have its Ph.D. ceremony at 10 a.m. Sunday (May 16) at Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music for 198 doctoral candidates. Purdue Provost Jay Akridge will speak at that ceremony.

During Saturday’s event in Ross-Ade, Purdue awarded two honorary doctorates. Greg Hayes, chief executive officer of Raytheon Technologies Corp., and Jack Calhoun, senior advisor at McKinsey & Co., were the two recipients.

Hayes received his honorary degree from the Krannert School of Management. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management from the School of Management in 1982.

Calhoun received his honorary from the College of Health and Human Sciences. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in technology from Purdue in 1987. He serves as chair of the Student Life Advisory Council at Purdue. 

Graduates at Ross-Ade Stadium More than 5,500 graduates from Purdue University participated in the spring commencement ceremony at the West Lafayette campus on Saturday, May 15. Many celebrated the first in-person commencement since December 2019 by decorating their mortarboards. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca McElhoe)

Purdue also recognized several top students who were recipients of the university’s highest awards during the 2020-21 academic year. Alexandra “Sasha” Kipnis was this year’s recipient of the Flora Roberts Award. Zachary Marshall received this year’s G.A. Ross Award.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writers, media contacts: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), @mo_oates; Jim Bush, 765-366-1909 (cell), @PurdueUnivNews

Source: Chris Pass

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Photos to come

Related stories:

Planning for Purdue’s commencement: Additional details released for upcoming ceremonies 

Purdue’s top students to be recognized during 2021 commencement

Purdue to bestow 2 honorary doctorates during spring commencement

Purdue commencement team releases initial details for May ceremonies

Note to journalists: Images from Purdue’s commencement activities are available via Google Drive. Videos of President Daniels coming into the stadium on a couch cart and his commencement address, and general b-roll commencement ceremony footage are available in via Google Drive. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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