News & Events

Institute of Optics shines at commencement festivities

May 20, 2013

2013 Class with Director Xi-Cheng Zhang
Commencement speaker Steven Chu with Director Zhang
Honorary guest Jie Zhang with Director Xi-Cheng Zhang
Seniors with the Hajim Sign

The Institute of Optics proudly presented its class of seniors who graduated this month. The picture on the right shows Director Xi-Cheng Zhang with (top row from left to right) Anthony Yee, Greg McKay and Hae Won Jung.  Standing on middle step are Sam Steven and James Talerico. Front row is Sarah Walters.

Following is an excerpt from Dr. Zhang's recap about Commencement weekend: 
"This past weekend was filled with sunshine and a focus on Optics. It was a privilege to participate in the 163rd College commencement as our undergraduates, graduates, and faculty were honored. Our colleagues, Govind and Miguel, earned the UR distinguished awards for their excellence in graduate and undergraduate teaching, respectively. Two optical physicists highlighted the ceremony: Steven Chu ’70, Nobel Laureate and former US Secretary of Energy, delivered the 163rd College commencement address; and Jie Zhang , President of Shanghai Jiaotong University, received an honorary doctor of science degree. Jie Zhang is the first Chinese to receive such honor in Rochester’s history, and it was rewarding to be present for this historical event. Of the more than 2,300 students who received degrees, eight Optics students earned their BS. Six of these graduated with honors; three with Highest Distinction, one with High Distinction and two with Distinction.  Next year we look forward to doubling this number! Twelve of our students earned an MS, and thirteen achieved their PhD.  Of these new alumni, Greg McKay (BS) and Dennis Fantone (MS) represent second-generation Optics degree recipients. Watching their families celebrate continuing excellence in Optics was heart-warming.  Anticipating the future for each of our newest alumni is awe-inspiring. ...Overall, the weekend was bright with promise as we celebrated achievements, received recognition and launched the class of 2013. Meliora!"