WFU School of Business graduates business professionals

5.15.2017 Accounting, Awards, Business & Enterprise Management, Careers, Entrepreneurship, General, Global, M.A. in Management, M.S. in Accounting, M.S. in Business Analytics, Mathematical Business, MBA, News Release, Pro Humanitate, Working Professional MBA
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 Student awards, hooding ceremony and Commencement held May 13-15, 2017
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., MAY 15, 2017 – Wake Forest University School of Business congratulates the 459 master’s and 260 bachelor’s degree recipients recognized during the Wake Forest University Commencement on May 15, 2017.

This is the first year that graduates have received an M.S. in Business Analytics degree. The School launched the 10-month pre-experience program in July 2016.

School of Business master’s degree recipients were also honored at a hooding ceremony Sunday, May 14 in Wait Chapel. Holders of a master’s degree wear a symbolic hood draped around the neck and over the shoulders, displayed down the back with the lining exposed. The hood identifies the level of degree, the field of learning and the awarding institution.

This year’s graduate business students who were invested with the hood include:

  • 145 Master of Arts in Management
  • 132 Master of Science in Accountancy
  • 37 Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • 44 Winston-Salem Evening MBA
  • 55 Charlotte Evening MBA
  • 44 Charlotte Saturday MBA

Two graduates received joint degrees as part of programs offered with other Wake Forest schools: one with the School of Law (JD/MBA) and one with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (PhD/MBA).

Anil Rai Gupta (MBA ’92), chairman and managing director of Havells one of the fastest-growing electrical goods companies in India, gave the graduate hooding ceremony keynote address on Sunday. He reminisced about his graduation 25 years ago from the School and shared how Wake Forest shaped him as an individual, how market liberalism stokes growth, and how entrepreneurship is the key to a fulfilling life, especially in volatile times. He urged the graduates to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset as they move through the business world.

“To my mind, an entrepreneur is not just somebody like [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg or [Tesla founder] Elon Musk. Any employee who thinks of the organizations as his or her own and works for its betterment is an entrepreneur. It is a mindset, not just capital ownership,” he explained. Gupta shared his belief that his father, Havells founder, was a born entrepreneur while he considers himself an entrepreneur by training. “While it helps if you are born with traits of entrepreneurship, it’s not a pre-requisite for success.”

“We know you have worked hard to become the honorable, impactful, professional, and global leaders you are today. We are so excited for you as you make your way in the world,” said Charles Iacovou, Sisel Distinguished Dean of the School of Business. “We hope you will visit, and stay connected.  Wake Forest and our School of Business community will always be home to you, and you are always welcome here.”

The entire hooding ceremony may be viewed on-demand at

Students receiving class Leadership Awards for outstanding scholastic performance and integrity were: Caylin Marie Iannotta (MA in Management); Lawrence Jamal Watkins (MS in Accountancy); Xiao Li (MS in Business Analytics); Shannon Clauss Pierce (Winston-Salem Evening MBA); Logan Alexius Miller (Charlotte Evening MBA); and Richard Ragsdale Reutter (Charlotte Saturday MBA).

Watch Anil Rai Gupta’s (MBA ’92) Graduate Hooding Ceremony keynote. Story continues below:

Other honorees included: George Conniffe Oliver and Kristen Marie Thut, Impactful Pillar Award; Robert Cornelius Robinson and Lawrence Jamal Watkins, Professional Pillar Award; Jane Sajbel Hardy and Aubrey Joy Ramsdell, Honorable Pillar Award; Liya Pu, Global Pillar Award; Colton Hunt Smith, Federation of Schools of Accountancy Achievement Award; Sean Taylor Simmons, Outstanding Graduate Award – Assurance Services; Nicholas Charles Noble, Outstanding Graduate Award – Financial Transaction Services; Andrew Jay Savarese, Outstanding Graduate Award – Tax Consulting; Lauren Mackenzie DeRuyter and Nathan Douglas Lowman, Scarritt Family Pro Humanitate Award; Allie Solomon DeCaro, Alexa Breanne Faraimo, Kristen Victoria Merlo, Brandon Lamar Napier, and Timothy David Olson, Fall Team and Spring Team Action Learning Project Awards; Joshua Paul Gough, Cara Lynne Longietti, Hailey Christa Merk, Sharone Adina Moverman, and Alexandra Christine Schneider, Matthew Blair Beck, Jr., Imani Ebonee Brown, Emily Elizabeth Carol, Jacob Michael Fusek, and Meredith Lynn Shaw, Spring Team Action Learning Project Excellence Award.

Bachelor of Science degrees were awarded to 260 School of Business students with majors in Accountancy, Business and Enterprise Management, Finance and Mathematical Business during the Wake Forest University Commencement ceremony on May 15. Selected for undergraduate student awards were: Heather Rozella Key, Delmer P. Hylton Accountancy Award; Alyssa Joy Raguso, the Academic Excellence in Mathematical Business Award; Celine Vanderclock Olcott, Spirit of Wayne Calloway Award; Christiaan Hodgson Adreian Honig, Lura Baker Paden Award; Kathryn Cornell Webster, Levar Antwain Hairston Courage Award; and Dana Helen Matuozzi, the Academic Excellence in Finance Award.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham delivered the University’s commencement address. He is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and George H. W. Bush. He is currently at work on a biography of James and Dolley Madison.

Media Contact: Stephanie Skordas, or 336-758-4098.

View the Graduate Hooding Ceremony photo gallery:
WFU School of Business Graduate Hooding Ceremony 2017