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John Pennington Harman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Pennington Harman
Memorial to John Pennington Harman - - 596097.jpg
Born 20 July 1914
Beckenham, London
Died 9 April 1944
Kohima, British India
Buried Kohima War Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Lance-Corporal
Service number 295822
Unit The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Battle of Kohima
Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png
Victoria Cross
Relations Martin Coles Harman (father)

John Pennington Harman VC (20 July 1914 – 9 April 1944) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

His was one of three World War II VC's awarded for action in India, the others being awarded to John Niel Randle (also at the Battle of Kohima) and Abdul Hafiz (VC) at the Battle of Imphal.[1]

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  • Harvey Mudd College's 2017 Commencement Ceremony


(Music: Pomp and Circumstance). (Applause). >>CHAIRMAN DRINKWARD: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am Wayne Drinkward, Harvey Mudd College Class of 1973 and Chair of the Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees. Welcome to the 59th annual commencement ceremony of Harvey Mudd College. (Applause). The commencement is now in session. Please remain standing for the National Anthem, sung by seniors from our graduating class. (Applause). >> Oh, say can you see, By the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed, At the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, Through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, Were so gallantly streaming. And the rocket's red glare, The bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night, That our flag was still there. Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave, For the land of the free, and the home of the brave. (Applause). >>CHAIRMAN DRINKWARD: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. We are at the completion of a rigorous academic curriculum by an extraordinary class. But before we get to that, we would like to recognize that they did not get here alone. So we would like to ask the class of 2017 to stand up and give a standing ovation to their family and supporters that helped them be here, especially their mothers. (Applause). And now I would like to introduce the president of the college, Dr. Maria Klawe. >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: As we begin this ceremony, let us begin to recognize the class of 2017, which is the reason we are all here. >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: I would like to recognize the Trustees and Faculty for their involvement in HMC and for making today’s ceremony possible. (Applause). I want to thank Don Gross from the class of 1961, who came in celebration of our 59th commencement, and a warm welcome to all the mothers in our audience. (Applause). One first thing we will do is award the Henry Mudd prize, for one person who generated greatly to generations of students and Harvey Mudd college. The first recipient was professor emeritus Joseph Platt. The choosing of the awardee is done in secret and the recipient is not informed until this ceremony. The honoree will receive a $6,000 award, $3,000 of which is designated for use in the college at the discretion of the awardee. The citation of today's prize reads: For his service to Harvey Mudd college, spanning two and a half decades, he served with wisdom, kindness, passion, and expertise. For his teaching with clarity and humility, and also with a healthy dose of theatrical flair. For his scholarly leadership, recognized nationally, which includes his co-authoring of over 40 papers with students, advising over two dozen theses and publishing and editing several books, for being an unofficial ambassador for Harvey Mudd, raising the college's visibility throughout the world, for making Harvey Mudd college available for many counselors and students, for his profound impact on young people who are just starting to discover their love for math, and for who become enthralled with his mathemagic. Okay, I gave it away. (Applause). (Laughter). For his tremendous reach to audiences online via books and CDs and at the Magic Castle, for inspiring thousands of people by making mathematics entertaining and enjoyable, for an individual that served this college with distinction, Arthur Benjamin, professor of mathematics, is awarded the 2017 recipient of the Harvey T. Mudd prize. Please join me. (Applause). >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: I will now introduce our student speaker, Dylan Baker. Dylan’s home town is Sherman Oaks California. Dylan is majoring in an Individual Program of Study titled Computational Data Science with a concentration in Art, their medium is sculpture. During their time at Mudd Dylan has been involved in A’Capella as the music director this year, has worked in the Writing Center as a tutor, co-writes music and songs with their friend Kathleen, and they performed together sophomore year at Kahoutek! During Dylan’s senior year they served as a Proctor in Drinkward residence hall. Please join me in welcoming our senior speaker, Dylan Baker. (Applause). >>DYLAN BAKER: There’s this saying I really like that goes, “you can’t step twice in the same river." The thought is that a river is always changing; the water you step in today is different from the water you stepped in yesterday. And there’s a second interpretation, too: The person who stepped in the river yesterday is a little different from the person stepping in it today. I know, it’s kinda corny. But, I'll get back to that. People like to talk about how Mudd was best when they were there: When West was comprised entirely of broken glass, and the fire Department hadn’t been invented yet. When core alone was 128 credits and only 3 people passed physics on the first try. When they didn’t need to worry about building new dorms because everyone slept in Platt anyway. Sure, maybe the free Platt coffee and core p-chem and getting lost in the Libra complex really was what made Mudd what it was back then. When Mudd first started, it was the brainchild of this mining engineer, Harvey Seeley Mudd, whose mining career, interestingly enough, both funded geology at Caltech and the LA Philharmonic through the Great Depression, but took an enormous toll on the environment of the island of Cyprus. He passed away in 1955, and a few months later the school started. But where do we fit in, in that whole continuum? Well, we were the first grade in the Shanahan building. We were there to watch DOS turn into DSA, to watch Drinkward be built. Of all the Mudders that were there when West’s fires went away, we were the only grade that got to watch them come back. We’ve watched dorm communities shift. We’ve watched the core class curricula get written and rewritten. We started FEM Union. We helped build Black Lives at Mudd and the LLC. As we’ve watched more and more women, and people of color, and first-gen students, and low-income students, and queer students, and international students, and students with disabilities arrive. We’ve pushed Mudd to grow because the old Mudd just doesn’t fit anymore. (Applause). I hope we won’t say that Mudd was best when we were there. I hope I won’t say I was best when I was here! I’ve left my clothes in the washer until they mildewed. I learned that you have to wash tie-dye t-shirts alone the first time. [ Laughter ]. I had to get my ID card replaced more than once a semester, pretty much every semester. And I didn’t do the readings when I should have done the readings. I didn’t get meals with people I said I would get meals with. When I got here, I hadn’t thought about separating my own sense of self-worth from my grades. I didn’t realize that, after being so excited to get out of the house when I graduated high school, that I’d really, really miss my family. And I know in this awkward process of figuring myself out, Over the four years, I’ve hurt people. And I’m sorry. And when I think about how I’ve changed, it’d be ridiculous not to acknowledge how Mudd has changed me. So with that metaphor from before, I guess if Mudd is the river, then I’ve been shaped like a rock tumbling in a stream to become a smooth pebble, or a whitewater rafter tumbling gently over and then missing lecture for the second time this week. And now the whitewater rafter is like two problem sets behind and has no idea what’s going on why was STEMs so much harder when we took it, but I digress. Yeah. There are lots of parts of Mudd that changed me, and there are lots of parts of Mudd that we changed. But, I mean, going back, what does it even mean to say that Mudd changed me? Here’s what I think: Colin, when I came back from studying abroad in Hungary, feeling like I’d lived a thousand lifetimes in a semester, and I was basically starting from scratch junior spring, my senior friends had graduated, friends in our year had drifted off to different dorms. I was terrified, and you ran up and hugged me and invited me to hang out with the friends you made while I was gone. Mudd felt like home again -- that’s really what changed me. Prof. Omar, when I took a class with you as a non-Math-major, I was scared that I’d have no idea what I was doing. You designed curriculum around exploring math problems in whatever way came naturally to us. So I ended up just exploring stuff I thought was cool and I really liked it, and two weeks ago I presented my thesis in the math department. That’s what changed me! It’s the people who ended up here with us. It’s Kathleen, showing me Tegan and Sara for the first time. it’s Ben getting tortilla chips with me at 3:00AM because I was too anxious and caffeinated to sleep. It’s Maya and me in North’s inflatable hot tub talking all night because the future is terrifying. It’s Wendy reminding me there’s somebody who understands where I’m coming from. It’s Dean Leslie reminding me that I am strong and I am capable and I am going to graduate. And it’s Willie. Willie, when we got dinner that night last semester and talked about our lives, and the parts of us that hurt, about our families, how much we missed our moms and little siblings, and how proud and excited we were to be here and to be finishing college, and I started to really get to know you, your dorky bounce, your laugh, your curiosity your deep-seated empathy for the people around you. You reminded me that this degree isn’t just an accomplishment, but the gift and privilege of insight into the world. It’s not just an accomplishment, but a tool we can use to educate and do work that means something and help lift up the people around us. Willie that changed me. You changed me. You changed us. So, to my family, to my professors, to the administrators and staff, to whatever chaotic mix of circumstances that brought us together for the last handful of years, that led us to meet each other, and to meet those we lost along the way, that led us into these classrooms and across this stage, to the Mudd that won’t ever exist again. To the people we’ll never be again, to the class of 2017: Thank you for being my river. Thank you. (Applause). >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: Thank you, Dylan. That was so beautiful. I will now introduce Richard Tapia, our keynote speaker. Professor Tapia is nationally recognized for his research in the computational and mathematical sciences, as well as his leadership in diversity, education, and outreach. He directs Rice's university center for excellence and equity in education, with a mission to empower under represented students who are passionate about STEM education. He leads several highly effective programs that have increased the number of under represented students obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in math and science. He co-directed more doctoral dissertations of women and minority students in science and engineering than anyone in the country. Richard's achievements are many. He was the first in his family to attend college, receiving his bachelor's, master's, and PHD from UCLA. He was the first hispanic elected to the national academy of engineering. He has received many awards, including the presidential award for mathematics, sciences, and engineering mentoring, and the lifetime mentor award from the American association of the advancement of science. He has chaired the national research counsel's board on higher education in the workforce. In 2011, he received the national medal of science, the highest award given by the U.S. government. Two professional conferences have been named in his honor, the Richard Tapia celebration of diversity in computing conference, which a large group of Harvey Mudd students will attend this year, and attended last year. And the Blackwell Tapia conference, whose founders described Tapia as a seminal figure who inspired a generation of African-American, native-American, and LatinX students to pursue careers in mathematics. Please join me in welcoming Richard Tapia. (Applause). >>RICHARD TAPIA: If I had to give my talk a title, it would be called the road ahead. President Klawe, Harvey Mudd administration, faculty, staff , graduating students, family and friends it is a pleasure and an honor to share this special day with you. We are proud of you, the graduating students, and congratulate you on your accomplishments. By graduating from Harvey Mudd, one of the finest educational institutions in the country, you have lived a part of the American dream. In our few minutes together I will share with you things that I have learned from my own life, and hope that they will help you navigate your road ahead. My parents came from Mexico to Los Angles in search of education. Times were hard , they had to support themselves, and were not able to obtain the education that they sought. However, their educational dreams were fulfilled through their children, out of five, four of us have undergraduate degrees and three of us have graduate degrees, albeit, two of us are lawyers. [ Laughter ]. I am a product of these Mexican parents, the city of Los Angeles and the time period of the1960’s. As such I am not only Mexican American , I am proudly Chicano. (Applause). My father taught the value of inclusion. He loved everyone and they loved him. My mother taught us that pride, hard work, and education can take you to the end of the rainbow, and there at the end was a pot of gold. I used to think that she was rather naïve with this belief, but I have learned that she was right. I tell you today on this very special Mother’s Day that mothers are always right. (Applause). And another applause for all the mothers. (Applause). You are here today in part because of your support system; your family, your friends, and the faculty. Graduation is an important opportunity to formally acknowledge this support system and let them share with you the joy and satisfaction of your accomplishments. Formal ceremonies and celebration are wonderful parts of life. Many years ago when I received the doctorate degree from UCLA, it was the late 60’s with much unrest and confusion and some of us thought that we should forego graduation ceremonies and I did. I was very wrong, as my wife has been telling me for all these years. So, it is with great pride that I have been selected to be an honorary member of the Harvey Mudd doctorate class of 2017. I'm proud of that. The road ahead: You must realize by now that your entire life consists of a sequence of tasks, one right after the other - high school, undergraduate school, graduate school, and career development. Moreover, each subsequent task is much less structured and therefore offers more challenge and requires more original thought and creativity. Yet with each step comes the opportunity for a broader impact. I emphasize that contrary to popular opinion success is rarely the consequence of taking a single large step. Instead success is most often the consequence of taking small steps with perseverance and in a coherent perhaps even obstinate manner. Many small steps. As you move through these tasks of life, do not expect the balance of good and bad, or success and adversity, to be uniformly distributed across the population. The statement I have had my bad, now comes my good is, at the very best, wishful thinking. Yes, I have lived the American dream. From Los Angeles to the White House and the National Medal of Science, the highest award given by the United States government to a scientist or engineer. The United States is truly a great country. However, my rainbow path has been quite trying with many ups and many downs. On one hand I can list successes and on the other failures and adversities, both lists are quite impressive. My wife Jean and I were married while I was a sophomore at UCLA. She had just graduated from Gardena high school. Our daughter, Circee, was born when I was a junior. Our dreams were simple. Jean’s passion was dance and mine was mathematics. I received a PhD from UCLA the same year that our son Richard was born. The four of us went off to the University of Wisconsin Madison and then to Rice University in Houston to follow the rainbow path and search for our pot of gold. We had more than our share of successes in Houston. Jean had a very successful dance studio, I received tenure in record time, Circee was a dance and academic star. We were making good progress along the rainbow path. However, in 1977 Jean was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 1979 she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. She had to give up her studio and navigate the rainbow path from a wheelchair. No longer could she skip and dance along the trail; yet we kept traveling. We kept on going, we had no choice. Three years later, Circee was killed in an automobile accident. She was a student at Rice at the time and had just returned from dancing with a company in New York. Jean said that these were three strikes for her and she was out - her life was over. Finally, I convinced her that she still had much to contribute and we continued. We kept traveling on, for we really had no other choice. However, I had no longer had Circee to help push Jean's wheelchair along the rainbow path. Jean started an exercise program for people with multiple sclerosis and people in wheelchairs called “Coming Back” and won national recognition for her work. I was the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering. I was the first Hispanic awarded the status of University Professor at Rice University and only the sixth such selection in the history of the school. I received the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board and the National Medal of Science from the President of the United States, again in both cases the first Hispanic so honored. I would trade my numerous awards and honors, and Jean would suffer multiple sclerosis many times over, just to have Circee back with us. But we do not have that choice. Our only choice is to give up or play the hand that we were dealt. The choice is easy. Life has its strange twists. I am now on expert on things that I really never wanted to know about, like wheelchairs and how to travel with a person in a wheelchair. I share this personal story to tell you this: When you encounter obstacles and adversity, learn to look both ways. Your challenge is to handle adversity. Prosperity is quite easy to handle. Realize that tragedy and failure are as much a part of life as are triumph and success. Failure is a part of every successful person's life. You must learn to grow from your failures and to develop compassion and sensitivity from your tragedies. At each stage of your life and career, continue to dream and work to make your dreams come true, but learn to cope and still enjoy life if they do not all come true. Let's talk about the National Medal of Science. How can I belong to a class that consists of so many of my great mathematical heroes, for example, Norbert Weiner, Paul J. Cohen, John Tukey, and Peter Lax? At the 2011 National Medal Award ceremony at the White House President Obama said: “All seven of you have performed excellent research, but Richard Tapia has given to the nation the critically important areas of improving ethnic representation and gender equity. I wish the other six of you would emulate his success.” I then said to myself “Thank you President Obama for showing me that I do belong." I share this story with you, and Jean was in a wheelchair, they brought her to the White House and put her in the front row where President Obama was going to speak. And then a woman came out and said, President Obama does not like you to yell. Please clap, but don't yell. So my wife sat there. President Obama came out, and they said, ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States. And they played "Hail to the Chief," an incredible moment. Then they announced my name, Richard Tapia, and then Jean went crazy, shouted, yelled, and jumped if she could have. And then President Obama looked at me and said, that's your wife. [ Laughter ] And I said, yes, but she is Puerto Rican. [ Laughter ] And all Puerto Ricans are loud. And then he looked at me and said, I understand. [ Laughter ] I have now been on the Rice faculty for more than four decades and have been involved in addressing inequities, both for women and underrepresented minorities at all levels -- university, state and nation -- for literally all of those years. I did not plan on doing this. It was just something that had to be done, and I knew that I could help. Nowhere does the job description of a Rice mathematician include these activities. And for most of you, your job description won’t say, “make the world a better place." Yet I implore you to care about this and do a part to solve current critical societal and educational problems. Realize that we, the United States, no longer set the bar on national well being including, protection of the environment, health care, and public K-12 education; indeed we share the bottom with a host of third world nations . Violence today is at a frightening level. Drugs, disrespect, anger, and hate are the characteristics of the times. Little by little we have let TV, the media, and the internet define the value system for today’s youth. As a nation we cannot let this continue. Yes, you will be the leaders of tomorrow, but this youth will be the leaders of the day after tomorrow. To not care, to not speak out, to not reach back would be the most unpatriotic action you could perpetrate upon your country. You may say that we have left you with these problems, and I would answer that this is true. But we can't re-deal the hand, your challenge is to play well what you have been dealt. The future of the world’s scientific and societal health is in your hands. Many of you will distinguish yourselves with prestigious awards and recognition, including a possible Nobel or Pulitzer Prize, or a Field's Medal. This will be of significant value to America's health and bring you great prestige, but this alone will not be enough. It will not bring you the satisfaction of helping those less privileged to live better lives, and improving the health of the nation. It is not someone else's job, it is now your job. I share with you several reflections that have guided me. Guidelines: Race and ethnicity should not dictate educational destiny. I may not be the best, but I am good enough. If you sit on the porch with the big dogs and occasionally bark like a big dog, the world will view you as a big dog. [ Laughter ]. That's how I have been able to fake all these things. (Applause). Significant change is possible: A few years before I accepted a position at Rice University in 1970, The Rice Constitution said “for whites only." Yet, under my leadership, Rice University has produced more underrepresented minority PhD’s in the mathematical sciences than any other university. (Applause). We proudly count Harvey Mudd’s Mathematics Professor Talithia Williams as one of these Successes. My successes as an underrepresented minority allow me to serve as a role model in two distinct manners. One, to those underrepresented I represent feasibility, yes it can be done, si se puede. And to the majority community, at a time which is so critical, I demonstrate that excellence comes in all flavors. We can and must sit at the leadership table with you. Finally, life and people around you are beautiful, reach for them. They need you and you need them. You all need each other. I wish you all the best of luck. Thank you. (Applause). >>CHAIRMAN DRINKWARD: Thank you, your work is inspiring to all of us. Now, to the main reason we are here. Friday, the Board of Trustees received a resolution from the faculty to grant degrees to members of the Class of 2017. The Board approved the resolution unanimously. I call upon Jeff Groves, Dean of the Faculty, To present the candidates. (Applause). >>DEAN GROVES: Will the Bachelor of Science degree candidates of the Class of 2017 please rise. (Applause). Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the faculty of Harvey Mudd College, it is my great pleasure to present the candidates who have successfully completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science. >> And now, upon recommendation of the faculty and with the full, unanimous approval of the board of trustees, I now confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Science with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereto. (Applause). Cesar Orellana Marisa Kager Lakshay Akula Justis Allen Sarah Anderson Brynn Arborico Matthew Bae Aaron Bagheri Nicholas Bailey Dylan Baker Yiwen Ban Achintaya Bansal Savannah Baron Marisol Beck Emily Beese Robin Bendiak Thomas Berrueta Zane Bodenender Amy Brown Amy Brown Cassadnra Burgess Max Byers Yiqing Cai Kharisma Calderon Hao Cao Michael Chaffee Cherlyn Chan Johnathan Chang Alana Chapko Bonny Chen Christine Chen William Chen Minyoung Choi Scott Chow Harry Cooke Courtney Coyle Robert Cypress Nava Dallal Jessica De La Fuente Terrence Diaz Samuel Dietrich Kathryn Dover Adam Dunlap Alexander Echevarria Marc Finzi Emily First Sabine Fontaine Zachary Friedlander Aaron Friend Shaan Gareeb Lisa Goeller Nicholas Gonzalez Alec Griffith Eleanor Gund Deval Gupta Rebecca Harman Kevin Herrera Magda Hlavacek Cherie Ho Joanna Ho Samantha Hoang Ving Hoang Maxwell Howard Siyi Hu Leonardo Huerta Man Cheol Jeong Man Cheol Jeong Annaliese Johnson Kathryn Jones Jesse Jospeh Senghor Joseph Evan Kahn Zoab Kapoor Zoab Kapoor Jonas Kaufman Lucia Kaye LeeJoon Kim Emma Klein Hannah Knaack Kathleen Kohl Kathleen Kohl Aishvarya Korde Deniz Korman Elizabeth Krenkel Alyssa Kubota Benajmin Kunst Anya Kwan Joshua Ryan Lam Alexa Le Thomas Le Elizabeth Lee Faith Lemire-Baeten Nathaniel Leslie Nathaniel Leslie Carli Lessard Calvin Leung Shiyue Li Caitilin Lienkaemper Huting Lin Aaron Lobb Abjyudit Lohe Johnathan Lum Kyle Lund Weiyun Ma Noah Marcus Andrew Marino Erica Martelly Maya Martirossyan Daniel McCabe Kelly McConnell Patrick McKeen Timothy Middlemas Nathaniel Miller Sam Miller Jeffrey Milling Rachel Mow Eric Mueller Michael Muzio Rohan Nagpal Jeewan Naik Daniel Ngyuen Jacob Nguyuen Nga Nguyen Phuong Ngyuen Michelle Niu Rachel O'Neill Vidushi Ojha Colin Okasaki Jose Orozco Keighley Overbay Alexander Ozdemir Erin Paeng Tae Ha Park Raunak Pednekar Micah Pedrick Elyse Pennington Felis Perez Orpheas Petroulas Madeline Pignetti Emilia Reed Emilia Reed Michael Rees Michael Reeve Paige Rinnert Veronica Rivera Charolette Robinson Daniel Rodriguez Fernando Jose Salud Abram Sanderson Lydia Scharff Daniel Daniel Schmidt Olivia Scneble Emily Schooley Ian Schweickart Andrew Scott Joshua Sealand Ellen Seidel Sakshi Shah Roan Shankar Michael Sheely Kathryn Yoo Jeung Shim Dina Sincalir Joseph Sinopoli Paul Slaats Tyler Smallwood Kevin Smith Ian Song Norwood Square Connor Stashko Joshua Straub Aaron Stringer-Usdan Tiffany Sun Ruth Sung Aliceanne Szeliga Yossathorn Tawabutr David Tomas Tumorio. Zoe Tucker Johnathan Ueki Vaibhav Viswanathan Aaron Wang Jeremy Wang Jincheng Wang Kangni Wang Sarah Wang Hannah Welsh Philip Woods Kira Wlyd Yi Yin Lisa Yu Hope Yu Jiaxin Yu Bo Zhang Jialun Zhang Carmel Zhao Hannah Zosman Annisa Dea Willie Zuniga (Standing ovation). >> Willie's family will accept Willie's diploma. (Applause). >> I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you and for your support you demonstrated. Also, to the faculty and staff, who I would like to give special thanks to Maria Klawe and Jon Jacobsen and the professors at the physics lab. Mr. Phillip Cha, and Michael story Lamarti, this diploma goes to Willie for all of his efforts and hard work. You will be missed and loved forever. Sending good vibes your way. Thank you. (Applause). >> Sarah, Guillermo, Nicholas, and Andrew. Thank you for being with us. Know that your influence of your son and brother is deep at the college. Willie touched us in a way that will persist on campus and in the hearts of his classmates graduating today. Thank you. (Applause). And now, on behalf of the college, let me say congratulations to the HMC class of 2017. (Applause). That looked dangerous. (Laughter). >>DEAN GROVES: I now call on Chair Wayne Drinkward to deliver a resolution from the Board of Trustees. >>CHAIRMAN DRINKWARD: Earlier this year, the Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees approved a recommendation from the Faculty to award an honorary doctoral degree. Harvey Mudd College’s policy to award such a degree requires that first the candidate must have made a distinguished contribution to the advancement of engineering or science, and demonstrated a record of contribution to society consonant with the ideals embodied in the Harvey Mudd education. Second, the Faculty Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee recommends the individual and the Faculty approve, and finally, the Trustees vote the recommendation Let me read it the resolution from the faculty. In recognition of and in appreciation of Barbara Patocka's distinguished service to Harvey Mudd College and to the advancement of undergraduate education in sciences, engineering, and mathematics; and her generous and significant contributions to a range of institutional initiatives, the Faculty of Harvey Mudd College hereby approve the awarding to Barbara Patocka of an honorary doctoral degree in Engineering, Sciences and Humane Letters. Today we add the fourteenth name to this distinguished fellowship. Upon recommendation of the faculty and the Board of Trustees of Harvey Mudd College, I hereby confer to Barbara Patocka the degree of Doctor of Engineering, Science, and Humane Letters honoris causi with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereto. (Applause). Please join me in congratulating Dr. Patocka. (Applause). That was a surprise, by the way. >>CHAIRMAN DRINKWARD: Earlier this year, the Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees approved a recommendation from the Faculty to award an honorary doctoral degree. I will read the resolution of the faculty Harvey Mudd College’s policy to award such a degree requires that first the candidate must have made a distinguished contribution to the advancement of engineering or science, and demonstrated a record of contribution to society consonant with the ideals embodied in the Harvey Mudd education. Second, the Faculty Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee recommends the individual and the Faculty approve, and finally, the Trustees vote the recommendation Let me read it the resolution from the faculty. In recognition of and in appreciation of Richard Tapia's distinguished service to Harvey Mudd College and to the advancement of undergraduate education in sciences, engineering, and mathematics; and his generous and significant contributions to a range of institutional initiatives, the Faculty of Harvey Mudd College hereby approve the awarding to Richard Tapia of an honorary doctoral degree in Engineering, Sciences and Humane Letters. Today we add the fifteenth name to this distinguished fellowship Upon recommendation of the faculty and the Board of Trustees of Harvey Mudd College, I hereby confer to RICHARD TAPIA the degree of Doctor of Engineering, Science, and Humane Letters honoris causi with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereto. Please join me in congratulating him. >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: The graduates we honor today have achieved a new status at the college – that of HMC alumni. Here to welcome you to that amazing group is David Sonner ‘80, P18, President of the Alumni Association. (Applause). >> Thank you, Maria. It is my privilege and pleasure to welcome the great class of 2017 into the alumni association of Harvey Mudd college. Welcome! (Applause). >> As new alumni, I have some good news and some bad news. [ Laughter ]. Let's start with the good news: The good news is, there is no place like Mudd. Over many decades, I have talked with many alumni, and if their experiences are any guide, you sometimes will work hard in your future, but nothing in your future, academic, or professional life will be harder than Mudd. That's a big part of the reason why Mudd alumni are so successful. In your time at Mudd, you learned a lot from your courses, and equally important, you learned lots of associated skills. You learned these skills, in large part, by doing. They include the ability to manage your time, to finish a hard assignment on a deadline, the ability to get along with others and to work collaboratively on a project, and the ability to quickly and efficiently master a new subject. Those skills have led many Mudd alumni before you to successful and rewarding careers, including in fields that did not exist when they were students. Those skills will also serve you well. Many alumni say that the most important thing they got out of Mudd was the confidence they could master any subject if they wanted to. With the passage of time, and exposure to the world, I am confident that you will increasingly value your Mudd education and recognize it prepared you well for your future. I know that you are well-prepared because, less than two weeks ago, I saw many of you field difficult questions at projects day and presentation days. Mudd alumni have attended the most prestigious graduate and professional schools, they have worked at the biggest private and public corporations. They will tell you that they worked hard, but nothing in their academic and professional life was harder than Mudd and, based on what I saw at projects day and presentations day, I know that you are as well-prepared for your future as they were for theirs. So the good news is, there's no place like Mudd. You now may be wondering, what's the bad news? The bad news is, there's no place like Mudd. When you arrived at Mudd, you may have discovered it is a lot easier to make friends than you imagined because there are so many smart people at Mudd that share many of your interests and passions. When you go into the world beyond Mudd, it will not be as easy to find people like you. Equally important, the friendships you made at are close ones. Many of the alumni say that Mudd friendships are like the friendships that form in other groups that go through intense experiences together, like Navy Seals. [ Laughter ]. Like many alumni before you, you worked together on many difficult assignments, often in different classes simultaneously. In the process, you learned to deal with pressure and bounce back from setbacks, which are skills that you need in life. But probably what you will value the most are the close friendships forged during your Mudd experiences together. Many alumni will tell you that, looking back over their lives, there's no place like Mudd for making lots of new and close friends. Many of your Mudd friendships will last a lifetime, if you work to keep them. Of course, as you go through life, you will continue to make friends. As you extend your network of friends, please try to include Mudd alumni outside of the circle of friends you made here when you were students. When I graduated from Mudd, I thought my only alumni friends would be those that I made as a student here. I thought the other alumni would be too distant from me to make good friendships from them. Despite age differences, I found I had much more in common with other alumni than I thought. I count as good friends many alumni who are far from me in age. You, too will discover that age is lesser important after college. Do not wait to seek out friendships that are outside the circle of friendships you made as a student here. In seeking friends, you will discover newer and older alumni often help each other. Older alumni help the younger get jobs and climb the career ladder, and the older get younger Mudders to work with them, you often see Mudders clustered together in organizations. There are almost 7,000 Mudd alumni now, and our Mudd association provides ways for older and younger alumni to meet. For example, alumni weekend, which is held on campus every spring, is a chance for you to re-connect with your classmates, especially for major reunions that happen every five years. It is also a chance for you to meet alumni from other classes. More than 600 alumni and about 350 guests attended our last alumni weekend two weeks ago. Our alumni association also sponsors many other alumni events, from traveling in the Sierras, to going to the San Diego zoo, the mix is different every year. In the recent past, among or various adventures, we have done a trip to Antarctica this summer, I hope you will attend. We have four events planned around the solar eclipse in the path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina. Next year, we will go to the Galapagos islands. Some of you may be shy, but the reward for going to alumni events is worth the effort. It is a way to begin new friendships with fellow alumni. Life's transitions, like today's graduation from Harvey Mudd college, can be exciting and a little scary because you don't know what the future holds. But please believe me: Like thousands of alumni before you, you are extremely well-prepared for your future. So try to enjoy your life, and remember to focus on the people in it, including your family, and also your fellow Mudd alumni, as you embark on your next great adventure. Thank you. (Applause). >> Thank you, David. This has been an extraordinarily painful year for our community, since the death of Woodie in a car accident in July, and Willie Zuniga in January, followed by Leticia Zanguzi in March, this year has felt like a prolonged period of grief because of the loss of such beloved young people. Layered on top of this, there's a multiple of other challenges, including continued concerns about workload and mental health issues, especially for students already feeling marginalized and insufficiently supported at Mudd, the rise of intense anger and protests at both ends of the political spectrum, and the feelings of exhaustion among our faculty and staff in the last several weeks of this academic year. This community and student body has become much more racially diverse over the past four years. This is the result of many years of effort by our community, working towards our strategic goal of excellence and diversity at all levels. Now, our challenge is to make our teaching and learning environments engaging and supportive of everyone. We know that this is a long journey. Over the past weeks, we've had difficult conversations that reveal how much work we still have to do. But the wonderful thing is that, despite the exhaustion, stress, and pain, we have come together as a community to embrace these next steps. I am incredibly proud of how everyone in our community has worked together over the last few weeks. The faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, and parents have shown enormous support for each other and for our goal of becoming the best undergraduate science and engineering education on the face of the planet. And one of which everyone can thrive, inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other attribute. Our journey is challenging. But we are making progress, almost certainly more progress this year than any other at this time in our history. I'd like to give a huge thank you to our graduates, the class of 2017, for their leadership of our student community during their time here, but especially during this last year. I would also like to thank everyone in our community for all you have done and will continue to do in the future as we move forward together. And now, a few words, especially for our graduates: You are, every single one of you, you are amazing. (Applause). We are so lucky to have had you here over the last few years, and for your many contributions to make our community and our college better. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished. Your achievements in research, clinics, competition, and national awards are incredible. Your commitment to helping each other succeed to having a positive impact on the world, and to preserving a strong sense of humor and humility are inspiring. Whatever your next steps after Mudd will be, I know you will bring your full talents to bear and spread creativity and joy to those around you. On behalf of the faculty and staff and the board of trustees, we wish you all the best and we look forward to seeing you back on campus soon and often. And, for those of you who are going to be working down the road in Ontario at Niagara, I know you are trying not to come back every weekend, but we really do want to see you. >>PRESIDENT KLAWE: Ladies and gentlemen, the 59th annual commencement ceremony of Harvey Mudd College is now concluded. Will the audience please remain standing and allow the academic procession to exit the site to the back of the tent. (Applause). Please follow our graduates to the reception at the Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning back on Harvey Mudd’s campus. Thank you very much. (Applause). (Music: The Rondeau).



Two soldiers visit the Military Cemetery at Kohima to pay their respects to their former comrade Lance Corporal John Harman VC, 1945
Two soldiers visit the Military Cemetery at Kohima to pay their respects to their former comrade Lance Corporal John Harman VC, 1945

John Harman was the son of millionaire Martin Coles Harman, owner of Lundy Island, and followed his father's interest in natural history.

Harman was 29 years old, and a lance-corporal in the 4th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

On 8/9 April 1944 at the Battle of Kohima, British India, Lance-Corporal Harman was commanding a section of a forward platoon where soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army had established a machine-gun post within 50 yards of his company and were becoming a menace. Since it was not possible to bring fire on to the enemy post the lance-corporal went forward by himself and threw a grenade into the position, destroying it. He returned carrying the enemy machinegun as a trophy. Early next morning, having ordered covering fire from his Bren gun team, he went out alone, with a Lee–Enfield gun and fixed bayonet and charged a party of Japanese soldiers who were digging in. He shot four and bayoneted one. On his way back, Lance Corporal Harman was severely wounded by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire and died soon after reaching British lines.[2]

Having been shot Harman was recovered to the nearest trench by his company commander, Captain Donald Easten, and died in his arms.[3] A plaque is displayed on the house where he was born in Shrewsbury Road, Beckenham, located in the London Borough of Bromley. There is also a memorial to him erected by his father in VC Quarry, on the east side of Lundy Island.

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum in Maidstone, Kent, England.


  1. ^ Brazier, Kevin (2015). The Complete Victoria Cross. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-47384-351-6. pp330-331.
  2. ^ "No. 36574". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 June 1944. p. 2961.
  3. ^ Keane, Fergal (2010). Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944. London: HarperPress. ISBN 978-0-00-713240-9. p269.

External links

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