In the News

July 11, 2019

2019 Commencement Ceremony: A First for ICS

UCI’s 54th annual commencement featured a first for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). With more than 1,000 bachelor’s and master’s students graduating this year, it was the first time ICS held its own commencement ceremony.

“The relevance and value of an ICS education to society is demonstrated by the ever-increasing demand for our ICS graduates, whose number has increased almost 300% over the last 10 years,” says Computer Science Professor Gopi Meenakshisundaram, the associate dean of student affairs for ICS. “It was gratifying to provide undivided attention to our graduates, celebrating their accomplishments.”

The 2019 Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science commencement ceremony.

At the start of the ceremony, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman welcomed the students and offered his heartfelt congratulations. “It is my sincere hope that you will think of UCI as having cultivated and enriched your mind and spirit… and as having empowered you to push the world a little more toward the light,” he told the students. “We are hopeful for the future because we know that we can count on you.”

Student commencement speaker David Kwon, a computer science major headed to Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine to work as a software engineer, similarly talked about ICS graduates building the future. Kwon asserted that “no matter which path we take, we will do amazing things, because we all have three amazing qualities that are just part of who we are…. intuitive, confident and supportive, or ICS.”

During his time at UCI, Kwon was dedicated to helping others. While earning his degree, he conducted a seminar on cybersecurity, created a nonprofit online tutoring program to help high school students prepare for their AP exams, and was part of an award-winning hackathon team that developed a cyber-bullying awareness app.

“We’re getting degrees in a field that is truly the closest thing to magic right now,” he told his fellow classmates. “We have the power to impact our society in endless positive ways, so don’t just download the latest app or software; go make it. Don’t just wait for things to come to you; go out there and get it. After all, we are ICS.”

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and ICS student commencement speaker David Kwon.

Commencement speaker LouAnne Boyd, founding faculty member and assistant professor of computer science in the Fowler School of Engineering at Chapman University, also highlighted the power and potential of ICS graduates. “This is the best degree to have right now, because it covers fields from business information management to computer game science and everything in between. These are the fields that will shape our future.”

LouAnne Boyd, Ph.D. ’18, speaking at the ICS commencement ceremony.

Boyd is also a recent ICS graduate, having received her Ph.D. in informatics in 2018. Her research focus is the design, development and evaluation of accessible technologies to support neurodiverse populations. “Just a year ago, I sat where you are now,” she told the graduating class of 2019. And as they prepared to walk across the stage for commencement, her message to them lingered as a promise of things to come. “The potential of this school, and its graduates, is limitless.”

— Shani Murray
2019 Commencement Ceremony: A First for ICS

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Media interested in interviewing ICS faculty, students or alumni should contact Matt Miller at (949) 824-1562 or via email at