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2019 Commencement: Donna Strickland AS&E Commencement Address

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Donna Strickland '89 (PhD) returned to the University 30 years after completing her PhD to deliver the commencement address for the College of Arts, Sciences, & Engineering. It was that PhD work with her graduate advisor Gérard Mourou on chirped-pulse amplification of lasers that led to them being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018.

Strickland spoke about when she got the call that informed her of the Nobel, and the place the University of Rochester held for her in light of that recognition.

"I knew I that I had to share the moment with the University of Rochester. After all, this is where the magic happened," Strickland noted in her speech.

She also spoke about how she had dreamed of getting a PhD since she was child, and despite that, almost quit at one point. Upon consideration, she realized there was nothing else she could imagine herself doing. So she completed her PhD at the University, and the research that made her only the third woman ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics.
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