Commencement 2010

Congratulations to the Class of 2010

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Vanderbilt University
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May 14, 2010

On Friday, May 14, Jim Bradford, Dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, led the procession as the 280 Class of 2010 graduates entered the white tent on Magnolia Lawn. Of these students, 217 received their MBA degrees, including 46 who earned the degree through the school’s Executive Program; 35 earned an MS Finance degree, and 28 a Master of Accountancy degree. The Master of Management in Health Care graduates will receive their diplomas in August 2010 and will have a graduation ceremony in September 2010.

Bob Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ OMX Group, delivered the commencement address to the graduates, whom he described as “the future leaders of our economy.” Greifeld’s speech centered around how a high-potential individual can ascend to the top of his or her career path. To do this, he cautioned graduates to avoid being “the smartest person in the room,” and instead follow the model of the successful CEO, who is “captain of the ship, humbled by the knowledge that many have greater knowledge than himself.” To illustrate this lesson, he described his own career path, and how he had to overcome his ego before he could succeed. A lifelong Bob Dylan fan, Greifeld punctuated his advice with a lyric from “My Back Pages”: “I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now.” Finally, he told the graduates: “While most days are a mixture of bad and good, take the time to realize this is one of those rare days when it is all good.”

Awards and Recognition for Graduating Students

Jon Lehman, Associate Dean of Students, introduced Eric Bilbrey (MBA ’10), recipient of the Vanderbilt Founder’s Medal for the Owen School. This award, originally endowed by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1877, is given to the MBA graduate who achieves the strongest record in personal, professional and academic performance. Eric also received the Bruce D. Henderson Merit Prize for highest honors as a first-year student in the MBA program, along with Cara Tragseiler (MBA ’10)

Photo: Eric Bilbrey, 2010 Vanderbilt Founder’s Medal for the Owen School.

Lehman also recognized the winners of the Dean’s Awards for Academic Excellence for three other Owen programs.

  • Executive MBA—Reginald Zeller (Executive MBA ’10)
  • MS Finance—Philip Markschlaeger (MSF ’10)
  • Master of Accountancy—Rhett Taylor (MAcc ’10)

Awards and Recognition for Faculty

Tripp Shubert (MBA ’10), President of the Owen Student Government Association, presented the James A. Webb Excellence in Teaching Award to Mike Shor, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Economics. Shor’s class on game theory and how it applies to business strategy is among the most popular in the MBA program.

Michael Piana (Executive MBA ’10), recognized Brian McCann as the winner of the Executive MBA Outstanding Teaching Award. McCann is an Owen alum; this is his first year at the Owen School as Visiting Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Economics.

Dawn Iacobucci, E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Marketing and Associate Dean of Faculty Development, announced two faculty research awards:

  • Bruce Cooil, Dean Samuel B. and Evelyn R. Richmond Professor of Management, received the Faculty Research Impact Award. Cooil’s work in statistical analysis crosses a variety of industries and issues—medical malpractice, insurance and customer loyalty, to name just a few. His work appears frequently in prestigious publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Marketing and MIT Sloan Management Review.
  • Steve Posavac, E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Marketing, received the Faculty Research Productivity Award. Posavac’s study of patterns in processing information and how it impacts decision-making has been published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research and other noted academic journals. In addition to this award, Iacobucci announced Posavac’s promotion to full professor.

Other awards and recognition

Several other students were recognized for their achievements at awards ceremonies earlier in the week.

  • Adam Lambert (MBA ’10) received the Matt Wigginton Leadership Award, awarded for outstanding performance in finance.
  • Jeff Freude (MBA ’10) was presented with the H. Igor Ansoff Award, which recognizes original and creative contributions to the school.
  • Liangliang (Leo) Xu (MBA ’10) and Steven Schwartz (MBA’10) were both awarded the Flournoy A. Coles Jr. Prize in recognition of outstanding performance in international management studies.
  • Matthew Clemson (MBA ’10) was chosen to receive the Financial Executives Institute Award for outstanding performance in both accounting and finance.
  • Cara Tragseiler and Nick Ferreira (both MBA ’10) were recognized with the Award for Academic Excellence in Marketing.
  • For demonstrating a unique entrepreneurial spirit, Raymond Sumner (MBA ’10) received the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award in Marketing.
  • Burch Wood (MBA ’10) received the Health Care MBA Award for academic excellence and outstanding contribution to the Owen Health Care program.
  • Six graduating MBA students were presented with the Owen Service Award for outstanding effort and energy in leadership, community involvement and student life. They are: Stefan Banks, Chris Brown, Paige Brown, Brad Cayer, Lowell Goldman and Tripp Shubert.
  • Michael Piana (Executive MBA ’10) received the Martin S. Geisel Award for Leadership in Executive Education.

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.