More than 500 Wake Forest University School of Business graduate students in the management, accountancy, business analytics, and business administration programs celebrated the next step in their educational and professional careers on Monday, May 17 during a special hooding ceremony at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
August 2020, December 2020, and all 2021 master’s degree recipients were recognized at the socially distanced event. Each graduate was allowed two guests in the arena to commemorate the occasion. The hooding ceremony signifies the completion of an advanced degree. Traditionally, graduates are hooded on stage by a faculty member. Due to Covid-19 mitigation protocols, degree recipients were hooded prior to crossing the stage.
Graduate business students who were invested with the hood included:
- 124 Master of Science in Management
- 114 Master of Science in Accountancy
- 140 Master of Science in Business Analytics
- 60 Winston-Salem Evening Master of Business Administration
- 60 Charlotte Evening Master of Business Administration
- 32 Charlotte Saturday Master of Business Administration
Michelle Roehm, School of Business Interim Dean and Peter C. Brockway Chair of Strategic Management, welcomed all graduates and attendees and noted the moment represented an important recognition of students’ hard work and achievements. She also reflected on the unprecedented personal, professional, and societal challenges that occurred for many during the academic year.
“We’ve had to dig deep to find a resilience that we perhaps did not realize resides within us. We’ve been pushed to be more creative and more adaptable,” Roehm said. “For our students here today – in person and online – by virtue of your presence to participate in this celebration of academic achievement, you have found a way to persevere and prevail. That, in and of itself, merits our admiration and congratulations.”
Todd Gibbons, CEO at Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and a WFU School of Business alumnus, provided the keynote address.
“There isn’t a single aspect of our lives that hasn’t been altered as a result of this past year. Our world has undergone a rapid transformation right before our eyes. In fact, I think in many ways, it brought us closer together against common challenges, Gibbons said, “but it’s in these times of stress that leadership qualities are forged and new ideas and innovation flourish.”
Gibbons encouraged graduates to use the strong foundation Wake Forest provided to continue their leadership legacy. He cited five attributes as characteristics of a true leader: resilience, objectivity, curiosity, empathy, and integrity.
“As you move forward from here, never stop working on the type of leader you want to be,” he said.
All Wake Forest degree ceremonies were ticketed events reserved for graduates and their guests. They were not open to the public. Live streamed videos of each ceremony are available. More information can be found at commencement.wfu.edu.
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