It was fitting that Mr. Patrick J. Noyes's speech began with the description of a grueling marathon because for many of the graduates of 2016, it was a trial to not walk out during his speech. The culmination of this was to say that he had hoped he was not a disappointment. Judging by the existence of this article, I'm sure you have already guessed that the speaker failed this duty.
Noyes was introduced as an alumni of distinction who had advanced science and engineering. His biography did not seem to contain a note of advancement and instead showed a world of business.
Noyes has been in drilling and oil since the dawn of time. By the way he promoted drilling and fracking, one would guess he had invented the whole thing himself if not for the way he framed the inventor of fracking. This frame was gilded in such a way that someone could easily hang it in the halls of a Sunday school and the priest would be none the wiser.
The speech was riddled with earnest promotions of drilling, oil and fracking. To a crowd of over 500 engineers and scientist, Mr. Noyes denied the existence of climate change before launching into a rant about Yoko Ono. It was a spectacle, to say the least.
My only question, at the end of all of this, is what in the world was Rose-Hulman thinking? I've heard rumors about a 10 million dollar donation and that he had gone awry from the speech he submitted but that's not the problem. The problem is that Rose-Hulman thought it was appropriate to welcome me to the rest of my life with someone who has worked to destroy my future and the future of our planet.
The energy sector needs conservation efforts, not someone who finds it amusing that we can sustain ourselves on oil for the next hundred years and yet we're investing so much time into clean energy. Mr. Noyes is not only in the oil industry, he is actively working against the efforts for a cleaner, more environmentally friendly future. This is not the type of person he had any business speaking to the generation of engineers and scientists who have to clean up the mess he made for his own fortune and renown.
Mr. Patrick J. Noyes is not an alumni of distinction. He is a testament to the ways in which Rose-Hulman can fail its students. For that, he is a disappointment.
You can see the speech in its entirety at this link, starting at about 1:50:00.