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Augustana College prepares to graduate 500 Vikings

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (May 20, 2024) – Augustana College will celebrate the commencement of nearly 500 Vikings representing 68 majors, nineteen states and twenty countries during the college’s 164th annual meeting on May 25 at 2 p.m. in the Vibrant Arena at the Mark . In addition to Dr. Lisa Durant-Jones’ speech, graduates will listen to a student speaker Viet Buia double major in engineering physics and computer science from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“Commencement is a time to come together to recognize the hard work of our graduates and honor the growth they have achieved during their time at Augustana,” said President Andrea Talentino. “We are excited to celebrate this occasion for all of our students and celebrate their progress toward the next steps in serving as leaders in communities near and far.”

Bui is part of Augustana’s growing diverse student population, with 40% of the university’s 2,500 students now made up of domestic students of color and international students. Last fall, the college broke records when it welcomed the Class of 2027, which included 192 first-year and international students.

He is a member of Augustana’s Web Guild, the Augustana Physics and Engineering Society, the Water Polo Club, the Vietnamese Student Association, Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honor society), al-Khwarizmi Society (Computer Science Honor Society), and the American Physics Society. He has also served as a project manager for the EDGE Center, the university’s entrepreneurial hub, and as a lecturer in physics, computer science and mathematics.

Bui called Augustana his home across the continent. He said he loved his liberal arts education, especially studying and working in many departments in an interconnected community.

“It is a place where I find safety and growth in all aspects, academically and socially,” he said. “Here I found friends from all backgrounds, where they truly expressed their individuality, yet came together as a community.”

He was selected by Doug Tschopp, director of the EDGE Center, for the university’s More Than I Imagined series, which celebrates seniors who have achieved remarkable academic or personal growth during their time at Augustana. View Bui’s profile to learn more about his peak experiences and advice for the Class of 2028.

Tschopp said Bui came into contact with EDGE early on and served as an intern during his four years at Augustana, designing and developing websites for clients.

“Our summer interns work full-time, and Viet spent his first summer building on his already strong coding and design skills,” Tschopp said. “He followed that with a second summer developing management skills and leading our intern team. A lucky company is about to hire a top website developer, and we will miss him dearly.”

After Augustana, Bui plans to continue working in an industry related to engineering physics and computer science, and to pursue graduate study with an emphasis on computational mathematical modeling of renewable systems and materials.

In addition to the bachelor’s celebration, the college recognizes fourteen graduates of the master of science in speech-language pathology. The cutting ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m., Friday, May 24, in Wallenberg Hall in the Denkmann Memorial Building.

This marks the third graduating cohort of the university’s 24-month program, which this spring received full accreditation from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

A complete list of commencement-related events and a livestream of the event is available at augustana.edu/academics/graduation. A list of candidates for graduation is available at augustana.edu/about-us/news/candidates-graduation-2024.