School of Engineering

Graduation Commencement 2006 Speech

Speech from the Director of School of Engineering, Shy-Shenq, Liou, PhD

Good morning friends and families of the School of Engineering. It is so gratifying to see so many people here today.

First of all, let me welcome everyone to our second Graduation Ceremony for the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University. Today indeed is a happy day for our graduating seniors, their families and friends, faculty and staff.

Next I would like to thank the graduation organizing committee members: Mike Strange, Elahe Enssani, Ying Chen, and Dipendra Sinha for their hard work on putting this ceremony together. Also, even though they are not committee members, Larry Klingenberg and Amir Tabrizi helped out more than anyone can possibly imagine. Students Irma Martinez and Sonja El-Wakil, while busy dealing with classes, projects, homework, and exams, put in a tremendous amount of time to organize this event. Without the hard work of these people, we wouldn't be here today to celebrate this happy event. Thank you.

Now I would like to ask all the graduating master's and bachelor's degree students to stand up and please remain standing.

Faculty, staff, families and friends, please join me in saluting these graduates for their dedication, hard work, and perseverance in finishing their degrees. What an excellent job you have done. We are proud of your accomplishment.

Graduates, now please join me to thank your families, friends, faculty, and staff for their patience, support, and sacrifices in helping you through your studies. Thank all of you. --------- Please be seated.

You are here today because you went through our program and completed its requirements successfully. You know how much we have demanded from you in terms of doing your homework, projects, exams, and so on. By now, everyone should know the meaning of "No completion, no graduation." We do this not to give you a hard time but because we want you to become better prepared than graduates from other universities. So companies will hire you instead of graduates from other universities. To demand more from students is a challenge not just to the students, but to faculty, staff, and administrators as well. We need to provide support to students so they can succeed and excel. I have seen students are taking on this challenge head on and I have witnessed great efforts from our faculty in helping our hard-working students. More importantly, our President, Provost, and Dean Axler have been providing numerous forms of support to the School. They too would like to have a School of Engineering that everyone can be proud of.

To give you some specifics about this, the day before Thanksgiving Holiday last year, I walked around various laboratories around 6 pm and saw many students were still working in labs on their projects and homework. I admire their total dedication and hard work. They made me want to help them more. This is the kind of student every faculty member dreams of, and these are the students we have. Our faculty has been busy updating our curriculum, modernizing our laboratory, and getting grants from government and industry to enrich students' learning experience. Many faculty members worked on supporting our departmental accreditation last year, spending endless hours on various tasks without any compensation. This is the kind of faculty any director dreams of, and this is the faculty we have. University administration has also provided more support to the School. In the last two years alone, Dean Axler has allocated approximately $300,000 to upgrade our laboratories. This is on top of our regular equipment money. Because of Dean Axler's support, we updated most of our labs with new computers and instrumentation. I believe student's learning experience will be greatly enhanced. This is the kind of Dean every director hopes to have, and this is our Dean.

Furthermore, Dean Axler mentioned that we will get more money next year too, if we continue the good work we have been doing. For our hardworking students and faculty, we will continue the pursuit of excellence. This is our promise to you.

I personally derive a lot of joy from our students when I see them applying what they have learned in the last few years to design, build, and test their engineering projects successfully, and meet our stringent graduation requirements. I have learned from our hard working students that lack of resources is NOT an excuse for failure. Acceptance of the status quo is a recipe for mediocrity. Education is never a one-way street. Thank you, Class of 2006, for teaching us how to become better professors.

The faculty are extremely proud of this year's graduates. Our students won the top three prizes in our annual College of Science and Engineering student project contest. One of our graduate students is representing SFSU in the CSU research competition. Mechanical engineering students built a mini Baha, an all terrain vehicle, the very first time. We are entering various engineering contests and hopefully we will have good news to report to you later.

Now you are about to graduate. You will forever become the family of the School of Engineering. We will contact you from time to time to ask your opinion in how to improve our program to benefit future engineering students. Please help us to make the School of Engineering the best engineering school in the California State University system.

A word of caution before we let you out of the door: for better or worse, the profession of engineering is changing, and the career you face will be very different from those of engineers before you. On one hand, you will see tremendous development in new technologies in biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials and photonics, and other areas. On the other hand, competition from other countries will be fierce and relentless. Off shoring will not stop. Learning does not stop today! You need to master life long learning in order to be successful in your career.

Future engineers should aspire to have.

The ingenuity of Lillian Gilbreth.

The problem-solving capabilities of Gordon Moore.

The scientific insight of Albert Einstein.

The creativity of Pablo Picasso.

The determination of the Wright brothers.

The leadership abilities of Bill Gates.

The conscience of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The vision of Martin Luther King.

.And the curiosity and wonders of our grandchildren.

I believe we have laid a solid foundation for you, and I wish you luck in your pursuit of excellence.

In conclusion, let me borrow a paragraph written by Adlai E. Stevenson:

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. Don't forget, when you leave, why you came.

Graduation Commencement 2006 Photo

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