Weekly Memo

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

Congratulations to all of our new graduates! I’m excited to see and benefit from the great things you will go on to do in your lives. And thank you to everyone who helped make it such a wonderful ceremony.

I especially want to thank our Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Lynn Seppala for sharing his truly inspiring life story. For those of you who don’t know him, Lynn was a doctoral graduate from The Institute of Optics in 1974. At 46, he suffered a debilitating stroke that robbed him of many of his physical and cognitive abilities. Through tremendous perseverance and the support of his loved ones, Lynn went on to retrain his mind and body and restore his career. He succeeded in conducting important and highly touted optics work on a number of groundbreaking projects in fields such as astronomy and fusion energy. It was my great pleasure to see him receive this much-deserved recognition! 

And, thank you to Ed Hajim for another engaging and inspiring speech. I’m continually impressed by Ed’s wisdom, accumulated through a long and extremely fruitful career that started in engineering and continued into the world of finance. Ed’s advice is always thoughtful, pointed, and specific. I echo his sentiments on the importance of engineers to the future success of our country, and I can’t overemphasize the importance of forging the lifelong friendships to which Ed ascribed so much importance. Thank you, Ed, for all that your energetic leadership has done for our school!

And I’m proud to note that Philippe Fauchet, chair of electrical and computer engineering, earned the William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching , which was presented to him at the doctoral degree ceremony on Saturday. In addition to being one of our premier researchers, Philippe has trained many graduate students who have gone on to do great work themselves. I was moved by all of the praise heaped on him by his former students, who tell of his dedication and kindness, and how supportive and close-knit his research group is. Congratulations, Philippe!

I hope you all have a great summer, and I’m looking forward to seeing most of you next year. But for our graduates who are leaving Rochester, please stay in touch! I always like to hear about your lives and achievements. Good luck in all that you do!


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean