The University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor two extraordinary College of Engineering graduates during Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 12, at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Mechanical engineering major Victor K. Champagne III will be celebrated as both a 21st Century Leader and a Jack Welch Scholar, while electrical engineering major James M. Prescott will be toasted as a Jack Welch Scholar.
The ten 21st Century Leaders for the UMass Amherst campus were chosen for their exemplary achievement, initiative, and leadership. This award recognizes the strong academic record and exemplary achievement of undergraduate students who further distinguished their intellectual accomplishments, and enhanced the reputation of the university, by contributing to the campus community in one or more key criteria.
In that context, Champagne, who comes from Dudley, Massachusetts, was picked as a 21st Century Scholar after being recognized by UMass Amherst as a Rising Researcher in 2016. Meanwhile, during his undergraduate career, he conducted research at MIT, Harvard, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute and presented his findings in California and Washington, D.C. He was also awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and will attend MIT to earn a Ph.D. in materials science.
Champagne and Prescott will also be two of the three graduating seniors recognized during the commencement ceremony for their leadership and executive ability as Jack Welch Scholars, the recipients of full undergraduate scholarships named for John F. Welch, Jr., the former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Company. Welch is a UMass Amherst alumnus, having graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1957.
Prescott said he plans to pursue a career in his field. (May 2017)