2012 Midyear Commencement


Dr. Arden L. Bement Junior

Dr. Arden L. Bement Jr.

Director of the Global Policy Research Institute
Purdue University

Arden Bement embodies the scholar famously described in The Canterbury Tales, for “gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.”

His career spans industry, government, and academia. Bement is now the director of the Global Policy Research Institute at Purdue University, where he can satisfy his desire to teach while addressing issues of worldwide significance. 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, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of 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. Bement is also a retired lieutenant colonel of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

After earning a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from the University of Michigan, he held R&D positions with General Electric and Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories. In 1970 he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty as a professor of nuclear materials. He then accepted a position in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before being appointed deputy under-secretary for research and engineering by the US Department of Defense. In 1980 he became a vice president at TRW Inc., where he served for thirteen years before joining the Purdue faculty.

Bement’s winding career path was a deliberate and natural choice for someone both committed to lifelong learning and dedicated to the betterment of humanity. As he says, “I have always wanted to stay on the steep end of the learning curve.”

Justin T. Jones

Student Speaker—Justin T. Jones

Justin T. Jones was raised in the Keweenaw and graduated from the Copper Country Christian School in 2008, enrolling in Michigan Tech that fall.

While at Tech, he has been a member of the Cin/Optic Communication and Media Enterprise for four years. Through the Enterprise, he worked with filmmaker Suzanne Jurva ’82 on Yoopera!, a documentary chronicling the commission and Houghton premier of the original opera Rockland and how the performance was promoted by a local community art project called “Storylines.”

In April, Jones and fellow student Andrew Benda had a short film entitled Ouroboro make the finals in the Hint Fiction Film competition at the Vail Film Festival.

This summer, Jones worked for Summer Youth Programs as an event photographer and instructor. He is currently working for Mind Trekkers as a videographer and editor, and he has worked for University Marketing and Communications as a graphic designer. Jones has also worked in the Humanities Digital Media Zone as a lab consultant since 2009.

Today he is receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Culture, and Media.