Wake Forest University Schools of Business students, faculty and staff gathered at Wake Forest’s Bridger Field House on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 to celebrate the pending graduation of the senior class of 2010 and recognize their outstanding achievements.
As the evening’s keynote speaker, James Evans (MSA ’03) shared his life’s journey that led him to Wake Forest University and talked about the key mentors that guided him through his collegiate experience and postgraduate career. After losing both of his parents by the time he was 10 years old, Evans was raised by his older sister and an encouraging church community in Kernersville, NC.
Evans first fell in love with Wake Forest when his family attorney took him to a WFU basketball game, setting him on his eventual path. Evans applied for every conceivable scholarship available hoping to become the first member of his family to receive a college education. He received a scholarship from Wake Forest that allowed him to pursue his dreams and capitalize on the opportunities his community provided. Once at Wake Forest, Evans entered the accountancy program and was mentored by Betsy Hoppe, Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs, who would advise him through the rough patches he encountered while pursuing his degree.
During his remarks, Evans spoke about the importance of hard work as well as the responsibility and duty to make good on the opportunities that have been provided. Evans challenged each to recognize the team of people that helped set them up for success. He imparted his belief that there is no such thing as an individual achievement and that each accomplishment is due to the support system offered by a team that includes family, friends, faculty and staff.
“I was honored when the leadership from the Schools of Business asked me to speak,” said Evans. “I hope my words helped the students to see how fortunate they are to have had the opportunity to attend Wake Forest. The University is such a great and supportive place, but it can be difficult to appreciate just how special it truly is without the proper perspective that comes with time. Hopefully my words conveyed just a bit of that to the graduating seniors and in time I hope they grow to love the University as much as I do. It is truly a magnificent place that supports students in a way that other institutions just cannot match.”
Following Evan’s address, Gordon McCray, Senior Associate Dean, and Dean of Business Steve Reinemund recognized nearly 20 graduating students who are members of Beta Gamma Sigma. Deans McCray and Reinemund also presented individual student academic achievement awards for Schools of Business majors – accounting, business and enterprise management, finance, and mathematical business.
Schools of Business students with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all college work and who are members of Beta Gamma Sigma are invited to apply for “honors” recognition. A project, paper, or readings and an oral presentation or examination are required. In the past 10 years, fewer than five students have achieved this honor. This year, one student, James Harold Smith will graduate with “honors” in finance.
Andrea Joyce Kensy received the Delmer Paul Hylton Accountancy Award which pays tribute to Professor Hylton by recognizing the outstanding academic achievement of a graduating accounting major. Kensey was also a member of the Wake Forest Schools of Business team who represented the United States and became the World Champions when they won the KPMG Global case competition in Athens, Greece in April 2010.
Christopher Michael Langley received the Wall Street Journal Award which is given annually for outstanding achievement by a graduating finance major in the Schools of Business.
Ellen Margaret Abbott received the Lura Baker Paden Award which honors outstanding academic achievement by a graduating business major.
Daniel Lewis Ruehr received the Award for Academic Excellence in Mathematical Business which honors the outstanding academic performance of a graduating mathematical business major in the Schools of Business.
Susan Michelle Manship received the Spirit of Wayne Calloway Award which honors an individual who exemplifies the best that the School has to offer the business world and society. The recipient is an individual whose actions and attitude convey high personal and professional integrity; whose effort level is indicative of a strong sense of personal responsibility; whose goals reflect a commitment to personal and professional growth; and whose achievements demonstrate uncommon dedication and talent — an individual who is admired by, and inspiring to, others.
Dean Reinemund closed the evening congratulating the award recipients and all future graduates in the class of 2010, noting the pride that comes with introducing this graduating class to the professional world.