July 23, 2021

Purdue’s August commencement ceremonies to celebrate students, families and traditions

Note to journalists: Images of the commencement speakers and the May 2021 doctoral processional are available via a Google Drive. Journalists interested in covering the commencement ceremonies can contact Matthew Oates at oatesw@purdue.edu to arrange for credentials. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Elliott Hall of Music will once again come to life as students cross the stage for the August 2021 commencement ceremonies.

After no in-person commencement ceremonies in 2020 and two in-person commencement ceremonies in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Purdue University will host two in-person ceremonies on Aug. 7 in Elliott Hall of Music. 

Eligible to participate in the ceremonies are 1,409 candidates, which includes 474 undergraduates, 529 master’s, 393 Ph.D. and 13 professional program students. Also participating in the ceremonies will be 106 alumni who were not able to participate in previous commencement ceremonies — 48 undergraduates, 29 master’s, 28 Ph.D. and one professional program alumni.

The first commencement will start at 9:30 a.m. and include all undergraduate, master’s and professional degree candidates. The second commencement will start at 1:30 p.m. and include all Ph.D. candidates.

wong-jocelyn Jocelyn Wong, Purdue alumna and chief customer officer for Gopuff. (Photo provided) Download image

Purdue alumna Jocelyn Wong will be the keynote speaker at the morning ceremony. Richard Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science and the Krenicki Family Director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease, will be the keynote speaker at the afternoon ceremony.

Wong serves as the chief customer officer for Gopuff, a late-stage startup that delivers consumer goods in less than 30 minutes in more than 650 U.S. cities. Before Gopuff, she served as the chief marketing officer for Lowe’s. During her 24-year career, she has held numerous leadership roles at Safeway, Family Dollar and Procter & Gamble, where she began her career as a process engineer before transitioning into brand management.

kuhn-portrait Richard Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science and the Krenicki Family Director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease. (Purdue University photo) Download image

Kuhn received his Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. from SUNY at Stony Brook. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1986, he joined the laboratory of James Strauss at California Institute of Technology, where he studied alphaviruses. Kuhn was recruited to Purdue in the Markey Center for Structural Biology in 1991. His research has focused on the replication and assembly of alphaviruses, picornaviruses and flaviviruses. Together with his structural biology colleagues, Kuhn has been involved in many fundamental studies examining the structure and assembly of viruses, including dengue and Zika viruses. He served as department head of biological sciences from 2005-16 and director of the Bindley Biosciences Center from 2007-15.

Tanmay Das of Dwarka, New Delhi, India, will give the student response during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Das is receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has held numerous internship positions at Rheem Air Conditioning in Fort Smith, Arkansas; General Electric Aviation in Bangalore, India; Oerlikon Graziano Drive Systems in Uttar Pradesh, India; and Bahrain Fiber Glass International in Mina Salman, Bahrain. He has served as a peer mentor for the Bechtel Innovation Design Center and as both the transmission and suspension lead for the Purdue Baja Racing Team. Das was the recipient of the John M. Starkey Prize in Mechanical Engineering, the Bottomley Research Scholarship and, twice, the Gordon Hall Mechanical Engineering Scholarship. He will continue his mechanical engineering studies at the University of Michigan as a master’s student.

Tickets are required for admission to Elliott Hall of Music. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. All attendees with bags will need to have their bags checked at the door for entry into the hall of music. Per Protect Purdue guidelines, masks will be required for anyone attending Purdue’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday. Additional information is available on the Summer 2021 Commencement page.

The commencement exercises will be livestreamed.

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 https://purdue.edu/.

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Media contacts: Amy Patterson-Neubert, apatterson@purdue.edu:

Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Source: Christine Pass, dehahn@purdue.edu

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