Commencement 2019

This Sunday, we graduated our first full class of 15 computer science majors! Thirteen of them are shown below, along with an independent major in “Data Science and Energy Systems”, celebrating after their capstone team presentations at the Whitman Undergraduate Conference. We have a lot to be proud of!

Among our 2019 majors:

  • two earned honors in the major;
  • three graduated magna cum laude, one summa cum laude, and two cum laude;
  • four, for various reasons, have yet to complete graduation requirements;
  • five submitted advanced project reports to the library archive;
  • four graduate with second majors, in Biology, Film & Media Studies, Philosophy, and Physics;
  • four completed a minor in Music or Psychology,
  • one played for Whitman in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Sweet 16 this spring;
  • at least four have already landed full-time jobs, including two who are going to work for Google.

We also graduated nine computer science minors, as well as the last two Whitties to participate in the 3-2 Computer Science program.

With the graduation of the class of 2019, I truly feel the program is up and running.

After a challenge posed in the last faculty meeting of the academic year, I decided to count the number of students graduating with each major as they crossed the stage. I won’t share those complete results, but I will draw some comparisons to illustrate the growth of the major.

  • Last year, we graduated our first two computer science majors. Asian & Middle Eastern Studies graduated exactly two majors this year.
  • This year, we graduated fifteen computer majors. That’s comparable to the number of graduates in Art, English, Film & Media Studies, or Physics (counting combined majors).
  • Next year, we have nineteen students enrolled in the computer science capstone. That’s comparable to the number of graduates this year in BBMB (Biology, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology) or Geology (again, counting combined majors).
  • We have 25 majors declared in the class of 2021. That’s about as many majors as Mathematics, Politics, or Sociology (counting combined majors for all three).
  • When all the different tracks are counted together, Environmental Studies was the largest major at Whitman this year, with over 40 graduates. I am proud to have Environmental Studies as one of Whitman’s signature programs. Hopefully computer science is several years away from that, if ever.

After the ceremony, we made plans to meet graduates outside Olin to take pictures, meet family, and say goodbye. I’m pleased that so many took advantage of this opportunity. Unfortunately, I missed some of our students, because I needed to pick up my daughter from the wonderful, college-provided event day care. On the other hand, several new alumni had the opportunity to meet my delightful daughter, pictured with me below.

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