TROY, N.Y. (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Michelle Howard encouraged more than 1,600 graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to embrace their inner "Engineer" at the school's 209th commencement ceremony May 30.
"Whether or not you ever work as an engineer, remember this from your time at RPI," she said. "Embracing your inner engineer means that you will always learn, you will never lose your love of discovery, and you will always be ready to roll-up your sleeves for hard work".
RPI is the nation's oldest technological research university. The school was founded in 1824 by a member of the House of Representatives for New York's 10th District Stephen Van Rensselaer III and educator and scientist Amos Eaton. The school's mascot is "the Engineer."
Howard lauded RPI for giving the graduates "structure, discipline, and focus" and charged the graduates to "give back to RPI and the country. Give back to your communities in modernization, transformation and innovation," she said.
She concluded with a challenge to the assembled graduates to use what they have learned and the relationships they have built to tackle the world's greatest problems.
"Embrace your inner engineer to find what makes you feel alive and makes you wake up happy to start the day," said Howard. "Use this passion and turn it into goodness for all of humankind. We need RPI graduates for our most challenging problems. Wherever you go, there will be others who have embraced their inner engineer. Connect with your fellow professionals because their backgrounds and experiences amplify success."