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NACME President and CEO to Deliver Commencement Address at the
New Jersey Institute of Technology


White Plains. N.Y. — The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc., (NACME) has announced that Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, the President and CEO of NACME, will present the 2015 Commencement Address to 2,800 graduates of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The commencement ceremony will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday, May 19. During the ceremony, Dr. McPhail will also be receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

“NJIT’s class of 2015 includes torch bearers and trail blazers,” says Dr. McPhail. “There are African American, American Indian, and Latino students who have chosen to enter fields such as engineering, where people of their backgrounds have been traditionally underrepresented. And many members of the class of 2015 are the first in their families to go to college. It is an especially exciting time to be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. With the stellar education they have received at NJIT, each of these graduates has a promising career ahead.”  

The New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of 51 NACME Partner Institutions. NACME Partner Institutions collaborate to increase the retention to graduation rates of all underrepresented minority students, those who are Africa American, American Indian, and Latino. NACME requires partner institution engineering programs, that receive funding through NACME, ensure that there is a retention to graduation rate of 80 percent for underrepresented minorities and that NACME Scholars, students in these colleges who receive scholarships and support through NACME, maintain a 3.3 grade point average.

The partner institutions benefit from participation in NACME’s annual continuum meeting, where best and promising practices are shared on college recruitment, retention, and graduation. NACME awards block grants to partner institutions for them to select NACME Scholars and, in return, asks those universities to promote a campus environment that embraces diversity with equity and provides encouragement and support for underrepresented minority engineering students. “By awarding honorary degrees, NJIT recognizes individuals whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they provide inspiration to our graduates and, in honouring these individuals the university is honoured as well,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “Throughout his career, Dr. McPhail has advocated for increasing opportunities and improving performance for underrepresented minority students in STEM studies. His outstanding leadership as the president and CEO of NACME will provide inspiration to all NJIT graduates.”

During the commencement ceremony, NJIT will also confer an honorary Doctor of Science on Charles Elachi, Ph.D., director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a Vice President of the California Institute of Technology.


McPhail Portrait web

 Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail


NJIT Commencement

NJIT Commencement at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, 2014


About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

NACME Alumni hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through workforce entry strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines.

About the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT): One of the nation’s leading public polytechnic universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks fifth among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $106 million, and is among the top one percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to