August 19, 2014
Summer Commencement 2014
Five hundred fifty-one students, a number that includes four graduate students, received diplomas as part of the 2014 Summer Commencement ceremony held on August 16 at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston.
Student speaker Mackenzie Kirby, BCMT, decided to try “something different,” as he put it, discussing the many qualities that set Wentworth apart from other schools.
“I’m no expert, but not many college graduates are like us,” he said. “Since 1904, Wentworth has put its own spin on learning. Making students earn experiences as well as grades, yearning for the chance to take their hands on practices into the real world.” (Read the full transcript of Mackenzie Kirby’s speech.)
Thirty-nine years ago, David Blittersdorf, MDE ’77, came to Wentworth also looking to try something different. Blittersdorf noted that growing up during the 1970s energy crisis caused him to refocus his thinking on energy and examine ways to make it renewable. Now the President and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, Blittersdorf told the Pavilion crowd that Wentworth provided a “big-city experience and a big boost to my confidence.”
Told that investing in wind farms and other forms of energy “was crazy,” Blittersdorf stuck to his beliefs and imparted his Wentworth-based knowledge to grow his first company (NRG Systems) into the leading wind measurement company in the world. After eventually losing the company to a growing interest in solar energy, however, Blittersdorf had to start over, creating AllEarth, thriving company in a rapidly-growing industry that is helping to change how clean energy is produced.
“We’ve left you a planet and an economy that is in shambles—we’ve robbed you of finite resources and handed you the bill,” Blittersdorf said of earlier generations during his keynote. “Your opportunity is to turn all that around, using your hands, your head, and your heart—your considerable talents, your ingenuity, your passions, and your Wentworth education.” (Read the full transcript of David Blittersdorf’s speech.)
The ceremony included the academic processional, conferring of the honorary degree to David Blittersdorf, recognition of outstanding students, Mackenzie Kirby’s student address, presentation of graduates, conferring of degrees by President Zorica Pantić, and the commencement address by Blittersdorf.
Video of the entire event can be found at this link.