Class of 2020 Prepared To Become Changemakers in a Changed World

May 18, 2020

Class of 2020 Prepared To Become Changemakers in a Changed World

Gifted class includes many accomplished students poised to change the world

While the May 23rd Commencement ceremony for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 2020 will not be the traditional, in-person celebration everyone expected, that does not change or take away from the impressive accomplishments the soon-to-be graduates have achieved in their time at the Institute.

Students that will be receiving degrees this week have developed new tools for better understanding the Earth, tackled challenging ethical questions, performed at Carnegie Hall, and strived to make the world more equitable, among many notable endeavors.

Rensselaer recently profiled some of the talented, driven, and compassionate members of the Class of 2020. A number of them can be seen in this video message celebrating all graduates:

The individuals profiled have wide-ranging backgrounds, interests, and future plans. They each embody the Rensselaer spirit of ingenuity and perseverance, which has enabled their success in developing unique expertise, defying the odds, creating communities, exploring innovative ways to save lives, empowering women in business, developing new video games,  and working to make the planet more sustainable, among other things.

These students embody the spirit of The New Polytechnic, a model for education and research that emphasizes collaboration across disciplines in order to solve global challenges.

As the Class of 2020 prepares to graduate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, society is facing many complex and interconnected challenges. This accomplished class of students has demonstrated that they will be both collaborators and leaders in the development of creative solutions — in keeping with the Institute slogan: “Why not change the world?”


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit