May 21, 2012
By Mark Haser, MBA 2013
Despite the cloudy weather on May 21st, the excitement was palpable as soon-to-be-graduates lined up outside the tent on the Bapst library lawn. The bonds between classmates were evident as graduating MBAs, MSFs, MSAs and PhDs mixed and mingled before taking their seats for the ceremony marking the culmination of their academic careers at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. It is this sense of community that sets Boston College apart from other world-class MBA programs.
The ceremony was a mere ninety minutes from invocation to benediction. Keynote speaker Peter Smyth, chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Inc., did not mince words delivering his message to the graduates. He spoke about how society has frequently come to associate success in the business world with fraud, indulgence and overinflated executive salaries. He challenged each graduate to change this reputation by giving back to the community and helping others less fortunate than themselves in the Jesuit tradition.
Smyth’s speech resonated with the graduates as they have collectively volunteered over 8,000 hours of service to a wide variety of organizations, including Invest ‘N’ Kids, an on-campus tutoring program. Dean Jeff Ringuest presented the Invest ‘N’ Kids program co-directors –Eric Butler, Kim Clark and Michelle Pinette – with awards for community service in thanks for their upholding the strong tradition of this marquee program. Other awardees recognized at the ceremony included Allison Gates and Matthew Horne for their service to the community; J.P. Nuzzo for his leadership as Graduate Management Association (GMA) President; and Adam Krueckeberg for his outstanding academic achievement. It was great to see so many students honored for their hard work and dedication.
Following the speeches and awards, Finance Professor Bob Taggart took to the podium to announce the students receiving their diplomas, the symbol of everything they had accomplished over the last two years. As the graduates waited in line to walk across the stage, distinguished marketing faculty member Jerry Smith walked over to congratulate and shake hands with one in particular. This was yet another sign of the friendship and bonds that form at the Carroll School, not just among students, but between students and faculty. The professors were not the only ones excited as the students began to walk across the stage; several parents couldn’t help but run down the aisle to snap that coveted photo of their son or daughter. Most memorably, one little girl, maybe three or four years old, perhaps a future Eagle, nearly made it up on stage mid-ceremony before an attentive member of the BC staff was able to get her back to her mother.
As the ceremony came to a close, I thought about all the great friends I had made over the course of the past year, many of whom were graduating. It was bittersweet to think that I won’t run in to them in Fulton Hall next year, but it is with great anticipation that I look forward to the year ahead and making friends with a whole new class of Eagles.
Mark Haser is a rising 2nd year MBA student and GMA President (2012-2013) at the Boston College Carroll School of Management.