May message from Dean Balakrishnan

Resilience: The ability to withstand and overcome difficult conditions; to bounce back after undergoing immense compression. 

Over the last year, the Case School of Engineering community has demonstrated the very definition of resilience. I am inspired every day by the faculty, staff and students who persevere despite significant obstacles, who continue to advance education and research even in the midst of a global health crisis. 

Looking back to May 2020, as we were preparing for an all-virtual commencement and an uncertain academic year, we had no idea what the future would hold. Thanks to the unwavering commitment to keeping one another safe and to diligence in adhering to health guidelines, along with a swift vaccine rollout, we stand here today taller and stronger than ever. 

This weekend, our Case School of Engineering Class of 2021 undergraduate, graduate and professional students will have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with an in-person commencement ceremony. The School of Graduate Studies Diploma Ceremony is on Friday, May 28, at 12:30 p.m., and the Undergraduate Studies Diploma Ceremony for engineering school students is on Sunday, May 30, at 1 p.m. If you are interested, we invite you to join in on the festivities virtually. Congratulations, Class of 2021!

Earlier this month, Case Western Reserve University’s newsletter The Daily featured an article spotlighting eight incredible graduates from across the university, including our very own Devika “Ria” Nandwana. I encourage you to read more about her story. I also ask that you join me in extending a congratulations to Materials Science and Engineering students Winston Kam, Hugh Smith and Hayley Wagreich, who were on the Class of 2022 team that won this year’s annual Hudson Relays, the longest-standing tradition at Case Western Reserve.

Your integral support makes opportunities for these students, and the rest of our Case School of Engineering community, possible. Thank you. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions or feedback at

Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan
Charles H. Phipps Dean, Case School of Engineering