Lehigh’s 98 doctoral candidates were honored at Sunday’s Doctoral Degree hooding ceremony at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall.
The candidates represented diverse disciplines from all four of Lehigh’s colleges. Families, friends and loved ones joined faculty and staff members in attendance, offering the same support and encouragement they provided throughout the challenging process of completing a doctorate.
“The doctorate is the highest academic degree. Take pride in it. It is a distinction that gives you the license, and the responsibility, to seek out and pursue challenging opportunities,” Lehigh President Alice P. Gast told the students. “The world needs rigorous and independent thinkers like you.”
“I am sure there were times that you felt at the end of your proverbial rope; maybe you were questioning your own theories, or you were wrestling with a bad case of writer’s block,” said Patrick V. Farrell, Provost for Academic Affairs. “But you stuck it out. You tied a knot and hung on. You persevered. And all your effort has paid off, as today we welcome you into the community of scholars.”
A long-lasting tradition
The hooding ceremony is part of a distinct American academic system of gowns and hoods that was adopted in 1895. Candidates wear official regalia chosen in medieval times to distinguish clerical and academic groups from the laity. Through the centuries they have been modified in cut and color to indicate the level of attainment in the major branches of knowledge.
“The faculty advisors have demonstrated their commitment to counsel, to listen, to read, to edit, to support, to coach, and most importantly, to devote themselves to the creation of new knowledge with their advisee,” said Farrell. “All of their efforts have certainly borne fruit today, and you and your faculty advisor have much of which to be proud.”
Doctoral degrees were presented by the representatives of Lehigh’s four colleges: Donald Hall (Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean, College of Arts and Sciences), Paul Brown (Dean, College of Business and Economics), Gary Sasso (Dean, College of Education), and John P. Coulter (Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science).
Dissertation award winners recognized
Each year the Elizabeth Stout Dissertation Award is bestowed on doctoral dissertations judged to make unusually significant and original contributions to their field. The award is endowed by Robert Stout, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, in memorial to his wife. The 2013 winners were as follows:
The 98 doctoral candidates honored Sunday were among the 1,889 students who graduated at Lehigh’s 145th commencement May 20.
Photos by Theo Anderson