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Congratulations, graduates! 2017 graduation celebration

June 22, 2017

The UW CEE Class of 2017 graduates. 

   Keynote speaker Simon Cheong.

With a crowd of more than 1,000 family and friends, 323 graduates were honored at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering graduation ceremony in the HUB Ballroom on Sunday, June 11. The graduating class was comprised of 10 Ph.D. graduates, 181 master’s graduates and 132 bachelor’s graduates. 

The department was honored to have alumnus Simon Cheong (BSCE ’81) as the keynote speaker. Cheong serves as the Chairman and CEO of SC Global Developments in Singapore. The student reflections speech was delivered by graduating senior Begum Birsoz.


A number of awards were presented during the ceremony, honoring students and faculty for excellence. The following awards were presented:

  • The Neil & Ann Hawkins Award was presented to two students: Richard Punt (first prize) and Marissa Gelms (second prize). The annual award, established by former department chair Neil Hawkins and his wife, recognizes two outstanding graduating seniors based on academic merit, leadership and service and communication skills. 
  • The Faculty Teaching Award, determined by the vote of graduating students, was presented to assistant professor Jessica Kaminsky.
  • The Faculty Mentoring Award, also determined by the vote of graduating students, was presented to assistant professor Rebecca Neumann.
  • The Chair’s Award was presented to research associate professor Peter Mackenzie-Helnwein.
  • A Special Certificate of Appreciation was presented to research assistant professor Heidi Gough.
  Richard Punt is honored with the first prize Hawkins Award.   Marissa Gelms is honored with the second prize Hawkins Award.

Class of 1967 honorees

The 50th reunion class was also honored at the celebration. Alums from the class of 1967 were presented with commemorative “stoles of gratitude” and were invited to walk in the procession with faculty and graduates.

Alums from the class of 1967. 

Graduation photos

View more graduation photos on Facebook.