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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

After Emergency Appendectomy, Class of 2013 Rensselaer Graduate Receives Diploma from President Jackson at the Hospital


Contact: Media Relations

May 28, 2013

After Emergency Appendectomy, Class of 2013 Rensselaer Graduate Receives Diploma from President Jackson at the Hospital

Second Lt. Paul Maloney, USMC, Rensselaer Class of 2013, had a memorable Commencement; perhaps a bit more memorable than he and his family had bargained for. On Saturday morning, as his classmates walked across the stage of the Houston Field House to receive their diplomas, he was watching from across the street, in a bed at Samaritan Hospital, recovering from an emergency appendectomy.

Though he missed the Commencement ceremony, the nuclear engineering graduate did not miss the opportunity to receive his diploma from Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. In response to an emailed request from his “little sister,” Morgan, sent as Commencement was underway, President Jackson went to visit Paul in the hospital following the ceremonies.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to personally shake Paul’s hand, present his diploma to him, and meet his family,” President Jackson said.  “I agree with his wonderful sister, Morgan—he has worked hard, and Commencement is not to be missed, even if we had to adapt a bit under the circumstances.”

“I am very proud of my brother, and all that he has done with his life,” wrote his sister Morgan, who, along with his parents, Mike and Connie, was with him in the hospital when President Jackson visited.

President Jackson was accompanied by John Kolb ’79, vice president for information services and technology and chief information officer, a fellow School of Engineering graduate who served as head stage party marshal at Commencement.

Maloney’s ordeal began on Friday morning, May 24.  Though not feeling well, he participated in the commissioning ceremony marking the completion of his ROTC program at Rensselaer.  He then attended a special lunch and spoke with Admiral Mike Mullen USN (Ret.), the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Chief of Naval Operations, and 2013 Rensselaer honorary degree recipient.

A native of Flower Mound, Texas, Maloney told President Jackson that, though he was in considerable pain during the commissioning ceremony and at the lunch with Admiral Mullen USN (Ret.), he “cowboyed his way through it.” He had his appendix out sometime around midnight.

After he recovers, 2nd Lt. Maloney USMC will be reporting to The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia.