Messages for the Class of 2021

Faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends of the Class of ’21 are invited to submit their messages to by May 10. Please include your name and connection to Engineering. Messages received after May 10th with be added but may not be published by Commencement.

Dear Kevin

It amazes us how much you have grown and matured over the last four years. You left the comfort of home and attended a school nearly four hours away without knowing a single soul. You excelled in all of your classes over the last four years and made the Dean’s list every single semester since you started at UMass. You have tackled every challenge that came your way. We are beyond proud of you and cannot wait to see what you future holds. We love you with all our hearts. 


— Love always, Mom, Dad and Mike

Congratulations 2021 CEE Graduates! Thank you for all you have contributed to UMass and for enduring and overcoming the challenges of the past 1.5 semesters! We are very proud of your accomplishments, Go UMass!

— John Tobiason, Professor and Head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Congratulations to the Engineering Class of 2021!!

Sending a big shout out to the Class of 2021 Chemical Engineers! I look forward to all of the great things that you do in your future endeavors and wish you all the best!

— Prof. Lauren Andrews (ChE)

Congratulations Aidan!

We are so proud of you! We know you have been and will continue to be impactful in your field of civil engineering! The world is a better place because of you! We love you! Congrats Aidan and Go UMass!

— Love Mom, Dad, Marcus, Cameron, and Caela

For Sara Morin —

Sara, we are very proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished. With your strength and perseverance, combined with your humor, we have no doubt you will be very successful in life. Congratulations!

— Love, Mom and Dad

Michael Rossi:

You did it!
You can drive a train!
We are VERY proud of you !

— Love, Mom and Dad

Congrats to the seniors of Unified Structural Design! It has been an enormous pleasure and privilege to have you in my class this semester. May you be the Khans, Maillarts, Ammans, and Bakers of your generation. Don’t forget to stop and admire the buildings!

— Kara Peterman, Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! It’s been a pleasure getting to interact with so many of you over the past few years, whether in person or on zoom. I wish you all the best in your careers and future plans!

— Scott Civjan, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Congratulations Class of 2021! 

“You Made It” is a standard graduation note that we get all the time, but no other class deserves that more than you do. YOU TRULY MADE IT! 

Your resilience in these challenging times has been amazing! You are truly ready to take on the real world. 

— S. Thayumanavan
Department Head (Interim), Department of Biomedical Engineering; Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry

Congratulations to the College of Engineering Class of 2021! The versatility and adaptability required of you this past year will serve you well as you move forward in your lives and careers. May you always remember who you are and from where you came. Always be learning and growing and stay humble, but never trade your authenticity for approval. Best wishes now and always!

— Tiffany T. Labrie, PE
BSCE ’03 and MSEnvE ‘05
CEE Advisory Council Member
Vice President, Tighe & Bond, Inc.

Engineering Class of ’21!

What an inspiring group of students to have worked with!! I only had the pleasure of joining UMass in 2020, but we’ve been through a lot together since! A global pandemic, a reconfiguration of how we educate and interact, and a lot of turbulence on personal, societal, and global fronts. But you managed to stay the course and see your studies through to the end. A remarkable achievement! During this time of celebration, I urger you to reread your entrance essays and reflect on how much you’ve grown in these past 4 years. Now imagine what else you can accomplish moving forward: Be Revolutionary! And Go UMass!!

— Cathal J. Kearney, Biomedical Engineering

Congratulations Class of 2021! I’m so proud of all you’ve managed to accomplish despite adversity. I’d like to give a special shout out to the members of our professional affinity groups oSTEM, NSBE, SASE, SHPE and SWE. Thank you for all of the events you hosted to support your members and keep our community strong! Huge thank you also to the Engineer Peers for your efforts in a trying year. Last but not least, congratulations to all graduates in Engin 391W and 597E. Class of 2021 — It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you and I look forward to updates on the directions you are taking post UMass. I know you will all do great things, in your own special and unique ways. Keep in touch! 

— Dr. Paula Rees, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Greetings class of 2021. Congratulations on your graduation. You have really worked hard and overcome a lot of obstacles along the way. That’s a great accomplishment. Wishing you all the best on your next adventure.

— Promise Mchenga, Office of DEI, College of Engineering

Congratulations Seniors!! It has been a tough and challenging year for you all but now is the time to celebrate. I want to wish you the best of luck on your future. Please keep in touch with all of us in CEE and hope to see you at a future CEE Career Fair coming to speak to our undergrads. I’m very proud of you all and will miss seeing you around campus. Take care and be safe. Congratulations!!

— Jodi Ozdarski, Academic Advisor in Civil Engineering

Congratulations to the Class of 2021. It has been a great pleasure to get to know, and work with, such a talented, driven, and resilient group of students. I wish you the best as you move to the next stage of your journey.  

— Steve Fernandez, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Congratulations to You Eme —

Just as you achieve another milestone. We are extremely proud of You. May the Lord continue to uphold you as you fulfill the destiny He has ordained for You. You shall grow to be a great role model to your generation and above all, the Love of God shall not depart from You. Always remember to be true to your essence and stay focused because You are a Champion in every right. We love You, keep moving forward. 

— From Mr & Mrs Onoja Jide
Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa

Congratulations Ian!!! We are beyond proud of your hard work and commitment in everything you do. We know you will do great things and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. We love you! — Mom, Dad and Gavin

Dear  Dillon —

We are so happy and proud to be here celebrating with you as your “undergrad” chapter closes and the next is set open. 

You chose mechanical engineering and have always excelled in STEM. We couldn’t imagine you doing anything else.

Graduating with a degree in Engineering will get you far in this world. Your story has just begun.

You are ready and we can’t wait to see what you do and where you go next. 

We love you!

— mama & papa Monti

Congratulations Engineering Class of 2021! With a UMass degree there are lots of great opportunities to do new and exciting things! Best of luck!

— Kristin Breder, Ph.D. ME 1987

Way to go UMass Engineering Class of ’21! Be proud of your accomplishments. You overcame difficulties brought on by a pandemic to graduate from a fantastic Engineering school. Future success is yours for the taking. Congratulations and Best of Luck!

— Dawn Murphy, BSME ’90, MSME ‘93

Best wishes for the class of 2021 on your next chapter in life. Just think of the stories you can tell future generations of alumni of your time at UMASS and how you overcame the challenges.   

— Karen Conley
MS 1992 + BS 1990
MIE Industrial Advisory Board Member
R&D Director, Saint-Gobain

Congratulations on your tremendous accomplishment! Completing the requirements for an engineering degree is difficult enough under normal circumstances, doing so with restricted access to professors, fellow students and facilities due to Covid19 must have been especially challenging. While some courses may be amenable to online learning, courses such as chem lab, unit ops or others that require hands on work must have been particularly difficult. Your efforts and perseverance in achieving this important goal is exceptionally noteworthy. Best wishes as you move forward with your career whether it be in graduate school or with a company. Keep your drive and focus and you will do well! You have a solid foundation with an engineering degree from UMass Amherst!

— Paul Kamienski
ChE Advisory Board
UMass BS ChE 1969, UMinn PhD ChE 1974
Retired from ExxonMobil

Congratulations!  You have had to overcome so many new obstacles these last three semesters, not to mention extremely challenging junior and senior year coursework, but you made it and I’m so proud of all of you!  I am always sad to see our seniors leave, but also excited to have you move on to the next chapter.  Be well, stay safe and again… CONGRATULATIONS!

— Tami Paluca, Academic Advisor for Chemical Engineering

Congratulations Class of 2021! It’s been a great pleasure having you in several classes ever since the pandemic. We are living through this world crisis together! I’m very proud of you for doing your best during this difficult time, overcoming all kinds of challenges and finally achieving the success today. Hope you will all remember this very special senior year and this graduation moment! Best wishes for your next adventure!

— Dandan Xu, Department of Chemical Engineering

You might be the most resilient class in UMass history! After this kind of year you are ready to take on anything the future holds. Congratulations class of 2021!

— Shelly Peyton, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! You have achieved remarkable accomplishments despite enormous challenges. We regret not being able to celebrate with you in person, but certainly we will never forget this experience and your tremendous fortitude. We look forward to hearing from you as you build your professional careers. Please stay in touch!

— Michael A. Henson, Professor and Head, Department of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to our 2021 class of Chemical Engineers! What’s worse — having class in Hasbrouck, Goessmann, or by Zoom? I am rooting for all of your successes and looking forward to learning about your future accomplishments. Don’t be a stranger! All the best!

— Jessica Schiffman, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

Congratulations ’21 Graduates! You have weathered a “storm” unlike anything engineering students have faced before. Take your degree, your passion, your resilience, and your new found knowledge, and go forth into the world and do great things! A great future awaits you!

— Paul Washburn
Co-chair Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Industry Advisory Board, BS Industrial Engineering ‘81, MBA ‘84

To the Class of 2021, congratulations! Your graduation with an engineering degree is proof that you are smart, hardworking, disciplined, driven, curious, scientific, creative, and  problem solvers. You have earned an invite through many  doors beyond which you will find interesting, rewarding, and meaningful  careers. The world needs you, thank you, and we really are proud of you!

— Paul Banks
Co-chair Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Industry Advisory Board, BS Mechanical Engineering ‘81

A hearty congratulation to all the graduating class of 2021, in particular the engineering class. A big congrats to my golden boy; Dozie, Eme J. on his graduation day.

Mom loves you, enjoy your special day along with all the other graduates.

— Stella A. Dozie Okafor (Esq), Dozie, Eme’s Mother, Lusaka, Zambia, (South of Africa)

Congratulations to all of UMass graduating Class 2021! You have faced adversity early on in your lives and managed to overcome it. You are stronger and wiser than ever before. May you continue in your future lives as positive members of society and setting examples for a better world.

We wish to cross roads with all of you, we will be delighted to meet you from closeup! You can count on us for support and assistance! 

— George and Anna Anagnostou, Marianna Anagnostou, parents and sister of Aikaterini Anagnostou Eng2021 

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!!…it has been a challenging year but you made it! Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors. A special shout out to my son Stephen Lendl, you have a bright and amazing future ahead of you! Love you bunches Mom

— Deborah Russo, parent

Congratulations, 2021 graduates! May the course you chart allow you to aim high, lean into the hard problems, create opportunity in the midst of difficulty, make a measurable impact, inspire others and give back.

— Julia Saulino
Director, Raytheon Missiles & Defense
MIE Industrial Advisory Board Member
B.S. Industrial Engineering, 2003

Class of 2021 — congratulations on graduation!

You’ve worked hard to achieve your goals and now you’re on your way to seek new challenges, dream new dreams, and embrace life with passion.

Have a successful and exciting future.

— Srini Srini
1992 MS in Mechanical Engineering
MIE Industry Advisory Board Member

Class of ’21 – best of luck as you set out on the next chapter of your journey. May the road take you where you want to go, and may all of your traffic signals be green (or better yet be roundabouts). Congrats on all that you have accomplished! 

— From your friends and academic family at the UMass Transportation Center