ECU students inducted into Order of the Engineer

Senior East Carolina University engineering students will be forever linked — literally — after the Order of the Engineer Induction Ceremony Tuesday in the Science and Technology Building.

The future 2022 graduates signed a certificate and received a simple silver ring as part of the ceremony that originated more than a century ago after a tragic bridge collapse in Canada.

Engineering students recite the obligation of an engineer during the ceremony.

The Order of the Engineer was born out of an obligation for integrity, fair dealing, tolerance and respect as well as a devotion to high standards to serve humanity.

Carl Bonner, an engineer and office manager at Terracon Consultants, spoke about the significance of the Order of the Engineer during the ceremony, stressing the importance of integrity to do what’s right and the courage to speak up to correct what’s wrong.

“To illustrate the enormity of the responsibility borne by engineers and to illustrate the need for courage and integrity, one has but to consider that practically every system we use in our daily lives is designed by engineers,” Bonner said. “From our toothbrushes to our computers to our cars, every system is the work of engineers and every system has an effect on our fellow man.”

The ring that each student received is a symbol to serve others in their professional duties.  

“The Order of the Engineer ring is worn for all to see,” he said. “In effect it says, ‘Here is an engineer who has publicly vowed dedication to the engineering profession and to those it serves.’ May the ring serve as a constant reminder of the awesome responsibility that is yours as you practice engineering.”

The 65 ECU engineering seniors become a part of Link 269.

One of those students, Sidney Wantland, joked that the ring might not fit over her crooked pinky finger, one she broke years ago while playing softball.

“I have a wonderful ring now to accentuate that,” she said.

In all seriousness, she is proud to receive it and looks at it as a culmination of her time at ECU.

“It’s exciting. It’s been four years of good work and hard work to become an engineer, and now I have something to signify that,” Wantland said. “I’m hopeful that maybe one day someone will see it and ask me what that pinky ring is for, and I’ll be able to tell them.”

With graduation about a week away, Wantland said she is proud of her accomplishments and looks forward to her career.

“I’m happy to be an engineer, and I feel powerful to be a female engineer,” she said.

Rachel Beavans, left, receives her ring during the Order of the Engineer Induction Ceremony.

Cameron Fletcher receives his ring during the Order of the Engineer Induction Ceremony.