June 2, 2000
For the fourth time in its history, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will hold commencement ceremonies at the Institution. Thirty-three degrees will be awarded June 3, 2000 to students who completed their degree programs in September 1999 and February and June 2000 as part of the Institution’s Joint Graduate Program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Formal commencement ceremonies are normally held each year at MIT for graduates of the joint program, which began in 1968, but on anniversary years are held in Woods Hole. This year marks the Oceanographic Institutions 70th anniversary. Nineteen degree recipients will be in attendance to receive their degrees, which include Master of Science, Ocean Engineer, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science. To date, 599 degrees have been awarded through the joint graduate program, and WHOI has awarded four Ph.D. degrees on its own for a total of 603. This year’s ceremonies will also recognize alumni/ae who have graduated since June 1990.
Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen, a joint program graduate in 1972 under the U.S. Navy’s Burke Scholarship program, will deliver the commencement address. Admiral Cohen will assume duties as Chief of Naval Research June 7 and will also assume duties as Director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and Deputy Commandant (Science and Technology), Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
A native of New York City, Rear Admiral Cohen received his commission as an Ensign upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1968. He then qualified as a Navy diver, trained at the submarine school in New London, CT, and reported to the diesel submarine USS Diodon in San Diego for duty as Supply and Weapons Officer during an extended western Pacific deployment. Following completion of his MIT/WHOI Joint Program Ocean Engineer degree simultaneously with a Master of Science in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from MIT, he received nuclear power training and was assigned to the engineering department aboard the fleet ballistic nuclear submarine USS Nathaniel Hale before joining the staff of the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Admiral Cohen served as Executive Officer aboard the USS George Washington Carver, and then assumed command of the fast attack submarine USS Hyman Rickover from January 1985 to January 1988, during which time the Rickover received a number of awards. He then served on the staff of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, as senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, and on the staff of the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Pentagon as Director of Operational Support. From March 1991 to April 1992 he commanded the submarine tender USS Spear and its crew of 800 men and 400 women, which served with distinction in the Persian Gulf War. Their deployment in the Persian Gulf in the support of Operation DESERT STORM included repairs to more than 48 U.S. and Allied ships, recovery of a FA/-18 Hornet aircraft in 190 feet of water off the coast of Iran, and humanitarian projects in Kuwait City.
In April 1993 Rear Admiral Cohen reported to the Secretary of the Navy’s staff as Deputy Chief of Navy Legislative Affairs. In 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for duty as Deputy Director for Operations. In June 1999 he became Director of the Navy Y2K Project Office, and in May of this year was named Chief of Naval Research. His service to the U.S. Navy has been recognized with the Defense Superior Service Medal and multiple awards of the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal.
WHOI’s commencement ceremonies will take place on the Institution’s Quissett Campus. Among those expected to attend are former MIT President Howard Johnson, who signed the agreement in May 1968 with the late WHOI Director Paul Fye establishing the Joint Graduate Program. More than 350, including many alumni/ae, are expected to attend the festivities, which include a career seminar for graduates and alumni/ae, and other informal events.