Susan Gray, president and CEO of Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy Corp., welcomed alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the college to the 2021 Engineers Breakfast.
“Don’t tell the great folks at Eller,” said Gray, who earned her BS in electrical engineering in 1996 and her MBA in 2001. “But I’ll always be an engineer at heart, so I’m thrilled to be here this morning, celebrating with the best college at the University of Arizona.”
Gray’s keynote speech was about the similarities between her experiences as a triathlete and a corporate leader. Both require persistence, hard work, the support of a diverse team, and a commitment to lifelong learning. She also spoke about the importance of empathy and inclusion, and commended the college for its strengthened commitment to diversity.
David W. Hahn, Craig M. Berge Dean, opened the Nov. 5, 2021 breakfast with some of the college’s biggest news, including the hiring of a dozen new faculty members and creation of the School of Mining and Mineral Resources. He highlighted the role of engineering in the state of Arizona’s New Economy Initiative investment of $36 million in the University of Arizona.
“I’m really proud to say that one-third of those dollars went to this college, to invest in the future, to increase our student body, our faculty, our research enterprise, our teaching enterprise,” he said. “I’m really grateful that the university leadership and state government leadership see this college as a college on the rise.”
Sehrish Choudhary, president of the Engineering Student Council and electrical and computer engineering senior, brought the ceremony to a close with comments about her experience as a first-generation American and college student. She spent her childhood dreaming of bringing technologies from Iron Man to life. When she started studying at the UA, she knew she was right where she belonged.
“I was inspired,” she said. “I sat next to my peers, thinking ‘I can do this. I want to do this.’ I chose engineering because I was captivated and inspired by every aspect of it.”