Evan Wang selected as student responder for commencement
This year's on-demand commencement from Purdue University will include "Pomp and Circumstance," an address from President Mitch Daniels and remarks from five student responders, which involved some ingenuity from everyone involved.
As many students left campus for the semester and faculty began remote instruction, the student responders and commencement planners started working to find ways for those speeches to still be delivered.
Purdue officials shipped a green screen to one student who filmed a response from their home, while another student used a friend's recording studio. The three other students, each of whom either live in the area or were still on campus, made arrangements to come to Elliott Hall of Music to record their messages in front of a handful of socially distant Hall of Music staff and others helping out with commencement.
The tradition of a student responder dates to the 1970s when it shifted from the student body president to students from the various colleges and schools assigned to certain times for their ceremonies. Student responders are nominated and reviewed by a committee. The president or a designee then approves the responders. Five undergraduate students are selected for the five undergraduate divisions; the Graduate School division - traditionally the first of the six ceremonies on commencement weekend - does not have a student responder.
Evan Wang of Zionsville, Indiana, who is to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the College of Science, will be the student responder in the Division II ceremony.
Wang has served as a resident assistant for University Residences, chairman of the board of directors of the Purdue Student Publishing Foundation, a representative to the Steps to Leaps Action Committee, and experimental design lead and advisor liaison for the Student Soy Innovation Competition. Wang was a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship and received several scholarships from the College of Science and the Department of Mathematics. After graduation, he will work as a data engineer at Discover Financial Services in Riverwoods, Illinois. He intends to pursue a master's degree in computer science and an MBA.