School of Engineering hosts virtual Hard Hat Ceremony

February 16, 2021

Gold hard hats in a row

This year, the School of Engineering was determined to celebrate its students’ hard work and accomplishments at its seventh annual Student Recognition Event, more commonly known as the Hard Hat Ceremony, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Because the faculty and students could not gather safely into one room, they opted to celebrate via Zoom.

Each year, second-year students from each of the five engineering majors are presented hard hats to represent their accomplishments. They receive commemorative stickers to apply on their hard hats during their third- and fourth-years that signify their leadership, academics, research, services and other special accomplishments.

Learn about the School of Engineering

During these unprecedented times, the school decided to create an additional sticker for all the students called, “The Special Circumstances Award.” This sticker represents the hard work students put not only into their academics, but also the hard work and dedication they put into keeping their community safe.

School of Engineering Dean Justin Kile commended the students early in the ceremony for their extra efforts this year.

“I really think we need to recognize what we are living through," he said. "You’ve had to learn how to take classes virtually without any warning while trying to learn to live your lives under very difficult circumstances — and you’ve done an excellent job. Our students in the School of Engineering have gone out of their way to protect each other and our entire community, and we thank you for that.”

For the safety of students and faculty, on-campus students will receive their award this week through mail. Students who are fully remote were emailed for instructions on how they can obtain their awards.

In the middle of half-hour ceremony, retiring professor Mark Hoffman was recognized for his outstanding service to students of the School of Engineering, along with his scholarship, various community service acts, his outreach toward professors all around the world and success in corporate life and education.

Professor Jonathan Blake explained how lucky the School of Engineering has been to have Hoffman as part of its faculty.

“He represents the best of us,” said Blake. “As professors, we often talk about and are judged by how much of our time we spend working in the three main areas of academia: teaching, scholarship and service. Mark has not only been successful, but he’s truly excelled in all of these areas.”

Watch the full Hard Hat Ceremony

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