July 24, 2023

Purdue’s 2023 summer commencement to graduate more than 1,500 students and celebrate 250th commencement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will host the 2023 summer commencement Aug. 5 in Elliott Hall of Music during two ceremonies honoring the persistent pursuits and giant leaps of more than 1,500 students. Since the first commencement ceremony in 1875, summer and winter commencements were added to each year’s spring commencement, making this commencement the 250th in Purdue’s history. 

Indiana Governor, the Honorable Eric Holcomb, will help commemorate the milestone with a keynote speech during the afternoon ceremony, set for 2:30 p.m.

The morning ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. and include a keynote speech from Joe Watkins, co-founder of Socio, one of Purdue’s recent successful all-student startups.

Eligible to participate in Purdue’s summer commencement are 1,531 students, including 520 undergraduate, 620 master’s, 356 Doctor of Philosophy, 27 professional program candidates and eight educational specialists.

“We are immensely proud of these graduates of our university. Reading their names one by one at the university ceremony, as we do in spring, summer and winter commencements each year, is yet another manifestation of excellence at scale at Purdue,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “And we are honored and excited to welcome Governor Holcomb to campus as we celebrate Purdue’s rich history and traditions during our 250th commencement exercises.”

The university and Holcomb will honor Purdue’s 250th commencement during a brief celebration set to begin at 1:45 p.m.

The commencement ceremonies will take place as follows:

  • Division I — Saturday, Aug. 5, 9:30 a.m. (ET). Degrees for College of Agriculture, College of Engineering, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, Polytechnic Institute.
  • Division II — Saturday, Aug. 5, 2:30 p.m. (ET). Degrees for the College of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Pharmacy, College of Science, College of Veterinary Medicine.

About Holcomb

Holcomb is a lifelong Indiana resident and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. During his two terms of leadership as Indiana’s 51st governor, Holcomb has earned a reputation as a pragmatic consensus builder. Since 2016 his efforts to deliver significant investments and advancements in infrastructure, education, workforce, quality of life and public health have been met with praise across the country.

In 2018, The Hill named Holcomb one of the top 10 governors shaping the future of politics. Under his leadership in 2023, Forbes ranked Indiana the best state in the U.S. to start a business, and following his implementation of a long-term, $60 billion Next Level Roads program, CNBC ranked Indiana No. 1 in the nation for infrastructure in 2019 and again in 2022. In 2019, Holcomb’s work in the public health arena was honored by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, which presented him with the Circle of Hope Award. He sits on the Executive Committee of the Republican Governors Association, having previously served as its policy chairman.

About Watkins

A South Bend, Indiana, native, Watkins’ entrepreneurial drive first appeared in high school, but at Purdue, it blossomed. Participating in the university’s Undergraduate Co-op Program, Watkins teamed up with two fellow students to co-found Socio, a modern event technology platform that manages the full life cycle of virtual, in-person and hybrid conferences. 

Serving prestigious clients like Microsoft, Google and PepsiCo, Socio’s success earned Watkins a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2020. The following year, Socio was acquired by Cisco and is now known as Webex Events, for which Watkins serves as chief customer officer.

Coats, Chunara to give student responses

Giving the student response at the Division I ceremony is Olivia Buenconsejo Coats of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in business marketing. During her time at Purdue, Coats held internships with a Chicago-based management consulting company, the John Martinson Honors College and Purdue Athletics. After graduation, Coats plans to pursue a career in dentistry.

Sameeta Chunara of Plano, Texas, who is receiving a Bachelor of Science in public health, will be the student responder for the Division II ceremony. Chunara is interning at The Aga Khan University in Pakistan as part of an international program. Following graduation, Chunara will pursue a Master of Health Administration degree at Tulane University.

Admission tickets required

Tickets are required for admission into Elliott Hall. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony, and all attendees with bags will need to have them checked at the door before entering the venue. Both ceremonies will be livestreamed. For those attending in person, parking information is available online.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities (Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal and QS), with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States (U.S. News & World Report), Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Innovates, at https://stories.purdue.edu.

Writer/Media contact: Carly Rosenberger, rosenbe4@purdue.edu 

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