Former National Science Foundation Director to Speak at Midyear Commencement

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Arden Bement Jr., a leader in government, business and academia, will be the featured speaker at Michigan Technological University's Midyear Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 15.

At commencement, the University will honor the achievements of nearly 500 graduates, including 348 students receiving bachelor’s degrees, 110 master’s degree recipients and 24 PhD graduates.

Bement will be awarded an honorary doctorate. In addition, Professor Blair Orr, who spearheaded Michigan Tech’s highly successful Peace Corps Master’s International Program, will be given the Board of Trustees Silver Medal. Justin Jones, who will be receiving his BA in Communication, Culture and Media, will give a brief talk to the graduates.

Bement is now the director of the Global Policy Research Institute at Purdue University, which integrates science and policymaking to address global problems.

He first came to Purdue in 1993 as the Basil S. Turner Distinguished Professor of Engineering and later became head of the School of Nuclear Engineering. He left the university in 2001 to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology and in 2004 was named director of the National Science Foundation, a position he held until 2010.

Bement is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the US National Commission for UNESCO and as the vice chair of the Commission’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Committee.

Has also served on the staff of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before being appointed deputy under-secretary for research and engineering of the US Department of Defense. In 1980 he became a vice president at TRW Inc., where he was employed for thirteen years prior to joining the Purdue faculty.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.