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May 6, 2015

MSU Engineering says good-bye to 471 undergrads, 54 master’s, and 61 PhD students

Michigan State University will host commencement ceremonies for more than 585 graduates of the College of Engineering on Sunday, May 10, at 12:30 p.m. in the Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. No admission tickets are required for the two-hour ceremony.

Alton E. Granger, a 1954 civil engineering graduate and the recipient of the 2015 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumnus Award, will offer a keynote address to graduates.

MSU Engineering will graduate 471 undergraduates, 54 master’s degree, and 61 PhD candidates.

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, will offer both the welcome and closing remarks at graduation.

Alton L. Granger, PE, a 1954 civil engineering graduate, will present the keynote address. Granger, of Dimondale, Mich., is the co-owner and chair of Granger Construction Company in Lansing.

His many awards and distinctions include the MSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and the MSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

Granger will receive the 2015 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumnus Award at the College of Engineering Alumni Awards banquet on Saturday.

The Erickson Award, the highest honor presented to an alumnus by the college, recognizes professional accomplishment, volunteer service, and distinguished service to the college and the engineering profession.

Mairin Chesney of Brighton, Mich., will present the senior class address. She will receive degrees in computer science and Mandarin Chinese during commencement.


Chesney is returning to campus after spending the year interning in San Francisco. In California, she worked for Google and Yelp.Mairin Chesney, who will receive degrees in computer science and Mandarin Chinese, will present the senior class address. Chesney has accepted a full-time job with Google in Mountain View, Calif., starting in June.

She will tell her fellow graduates that “normal” does not matter. “We spend so much time caught up in, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this normal? Is this right?’ I hope to show that it just doesn't matter,” Chesney said. “By avoiding an arbitrary definition of what's normal, you leave yourself open to some amazing opportunities and experiences." 

Amazing only begins to describe Chesney’s Spartan years. A Goldwater Scholar and an active student leader on campus, she conducted research in the Digital Evolution Lab with Charles Ofria, professor of computer science and engineering. Her research won a third place national award in the ACM Student Research Competition. 

She served as president of MSU Women in Computing and MSU VEX Robotics; was a member of the small auditioned choir MSU's Women's Chamber Ensemble; and a member of the MSU Homecoming Court. She spent a semester studying abroad in Hangzhou, China.

She is already aware of the potential of her Spartan education. “This degree is powerful,” Chesney said. “I've already experienced its power by meeting fellow Spartans out in San Francisco. Spartans are everywhere, and they're some of the kindest people I've met.” 

Chesney has accepted a full-time position with Google in Mountain View, Calif., and will begin in June. 

“We’ll see where it leads me, but I am certain that some transformative interactions await because of my MSU Engineering degree.” 


About MSU Commencements

MSU is hosting 19 commencement ceremonies from Friday, May 8, through Sunday, May 10. MSU will graduate 4,995 undergraduate and 2,302 graduate students.

Notice to visitors: Consistent with Breslin Center policy, all bags will be subject to search. No food or beverages – including bottled water – will be allowed into Breslin Center, and this applies to graduates, guests and faculty participating in the ceremonies. As such, Breslin will offer a limited menu of concessions for sale one hour prior to the start of ceremonies and during the first hour of ceremonies. Additional prohibited items include large cameras, recording devices, noisemakers, sticks, pets, signs or weapons of any form. Smoking also is prohibited at the Breslin Center.

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