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Distinguished alumni will address graduates May 17 at the School of Engineering and Applied Science commencement ceremony.

U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware will speak at the 254th SEAS undergraduate commencement, and Rajendra Singh will speak at the doctoral ceremony, SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt said.

A Penn alumus, Kaufman received his MBA from Wharton. He is also an “amazingly appropriate choice,” Glandt said, because of his work in the Senate.

Kaufman is the only engineer in the Senate, and has a “passion for technology,” Gladnt said. When he became a senator, “he declared that he would make engineering the main tool for his contribution to Congress.”

Since then, he has used his engineering knowledge to improve policy, including energy laws, Glandt said.

Students had mixed reactions to the announcement.

“To be honest, I’ve no clue who these speakers are […] However, I’m sure that Penn picked them for a reason […] so I am interested to hear what they have to say,” Engineering senior Jason Joo wrote in an e-mail.

Engineering sophomore Nisan Lerea thought Kaufman was a great choice, “as he has a very interesting perspective on engineering and its application to policy.”

Singh — the commencement speaker for the Ph.D. program — is a member of the Penn Engineering Board of Overseers, as well as an academic and entrepreneur.

Like his audience, Singh has a Ph.D. and has worked in academia. He moved from academia into entrepreneurship, and “epitomizes the translation of successful research,” Glandt said.

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