Wake Forest School of Business holds hooding ceremony for graduate students

5.17.2022 M.A. in Management, M.S. in Accounting, M.S. in Business Analytics, News Release, Reynolda Campus, School News

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 Sunday, May 15 during a hooding ceremony at Wait Chapel on the University’s Reynolda Campus.

The hooding ceremony signifies the completion of an advanced degree. August 2021, December 2021, and all 2022 master’s degree recipients were recognized and hooded on stage by a School of Business faculty member.

Graduate business students who were invested with the hood included:

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 difficulties that have occurred, including the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York and the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“Through it all, our graduates have seized opportunities for learning and personal growth and have shared their diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives with all of us in important ways,” Roehm said. “Through it all, we’re reminded that it’s nothing short of an honor to be a part of a community that takes seriously the responsibility we have to care for each other and support our mutual successes.”

Howard Upchurch, a former Hanesbrands leader and a WFU School of Business alumnus, provided the keynote address. An accomplished and respected leader, Upchurch recently retired as the Group President of Innerwear Americas, the company’s largest business segment, which generates over $3 billion in annual sales. He urged graduates to consider their dreams and how they may change overtime, noting that “there is no greater path to success than loving what you do and being open to new dreams.”

“Companies, industries, and jobs appear and disappear quite rapidly,” Upchurch said, “You must stay nimble and flexible, and I think you’ve certainly proven that during these Covid times. Wherever your career takes you, enjoy the ride.”

Upchurch also mentioned the importance of ESG, or environmental, social, and governance related concepts, and Wake Forest’s embrace of ESG principles in developing innovative ideas and solutions.

“ESG is discussed in every boardroom in America and it is influencing investment decisions by both individual and institutional investors,” Upchurch said. “I believe you and your generation will be key to the continued progress in ESG and all it represents. You will make your companies and communities better, and I hope you can see how it can make individual dreams come true.”

A livestream of the hooding ceremony is available. More information can be found at commencement.wfu.edu.