GW Engineering Celebrated the Graduating Class of 2024

May 23, 2024

GW Engineering Class of 2024 class photo

Graduates of GW’s School of Engineering & Applied Science (GW Engineering) are the architects of tomorrow, poised to embark on new adventures and committed to making the world a better place with their new skills and knowledge, and through their commitment to innovation and global impact. At the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 16 and the Graduation Celebration on May 17, a dominant theme emerged from the speeches given by GW Engineering Dean John Lach, students, and alumni at GW Engineering’s 2024 Commencement ceremonies: the importance of embracing mistakes and maintaining kindness and empathy in their careers. Those values were emphasized as essential components for professional and personal success.

During his speech at the graduation celebration, this year’s student speaker, Tyler Wyka, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, emphasized the importance of shaping our identities through positive narratives, stating, “We become the stories we tell ourselves and we need to tell good stories.” His remarks underscored the values of kindness and empathy, reflecting his commitment to the GW Engineering community and his leadership as a tutor and mentor.

After Wyka’s inspirational words, Dean Lach introduced this year’s graduation speaker, W. Scott Amey. Amey has been heavily involved with GW since graduating with a master’s degree in computer science in 1975. It is through his generous efforts that the GW Engineering career center, now named the W. Scott Amey Career Services Center, was established. His own professional success in co-founding and growing two companies, RS Information Systems and Amyx Inc., offers him significant insight on how to prepare students for career success, which he shared with GW Engineering graduates to help jumpstart their own careers.

In addition to practical advice, Amey stressed that while careers are important, they do not define you: “Your relationship with the people that you love, your family, friends, and the willingness to give back to the world we live in is more important than any career.”

Yahya Aliyu, B.S. ‘23, who received a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, also shares a deep connection to GW as his father is an alumnus. Aliyu was chosen as the Class of 2024 student speaker for GW’s Commencement on the National Mall on May 19. In his speech, he advised against rigid thinking and viewing education solely as a means to increase earning potential, commending GW for instead valuing higher education as a way to cultivate minds and enrich lives.

At both the Hooding Ceremony and Graduation Celebration, Dean Lach was tasked with charging the graduating students with one last request before they are sent off to change the world. At the Hooding Ceremony, he stated, “Today, I charge you first to keep alive the enthusiasm for learning and knowledge that led you to pursue doctoral studies.”

At the Graduation Celebration, Dean Lach gave the graduates this advice, “As you go forth from GW today, do so with optimism for the future, and embrace your role in shaping that future. Engineers and computer scientists can have a profound impact on our world.”