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AE commencement celebration speakers Laura Bogusch and Mike Hopkins


Debra Levey Larson

This year’s AE class of 2021 will be treated with messages from two alumni – one on Earth and one from space.  On Saturday, May 15 at 11 a.m., a video will be posted on AE’s YouTube channel. In addition to a welcome from AE Willett Professor and Department Head Jonathan Freund and a reading of the graduates’ names, the video will include messages from Laura Bogusch, B.S. ’95, M.S. ’97 and Mike Hopkins, B.S. ‘91.

Laura Bogusch
Laura Bogusch

Bogusch is the vice president of Materials and Manufacturing Technology and leader of BR&T – South Carolina, for Boeing Research and Technology, the advanced central research and development unit of The Boeing Company.

Since joining Boeing in 1997, Bogusch helped contribute to the success of the industry’s first commercial airplane composite fuselage in Seattle and has led a team of more than 700 employees as general manager of Boeing Salt Lake. She has worked with 787 Composite Fabrication in Boeing South Carolina and held positions as the 737 Chief Project Engineer for the P-8A Poseidon, 737 Production Engineering Chief, and 747 Fleet Chief.

Bogusch is also a graduate of the Leaders for Manufacturing program at MIT.

Mike Hopkins
Mike Hopkins

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins recently served as commander on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, which returned Sunday, May 2 from a six-month mission on the International Space Station. While on orbit, Hopkins recorded a special congratulatory message for this year’s AE graduates.

Hopkins was also selected this year to receive the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service from The Grainger College of Engineering. He was recognized as an engineer, test pilot, and astronaut, for his decorated service in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, his contributions to the NASA space program, and his continued dedication to the University of Illinois.