Words of Wisdom to the Class of 2009: Character Counts.
Senior Public Affairs Officer
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May 8, 2009
On Friday, May 8, Jim Bradford, Dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, led the procession as the 304 Class of 2009 graduates entered the white tent on the Magnolia Lawn to the smiles of families and friends. Of these students, 252 received their MBA degrees, including 49 who earned the degree through the school’s Executive Program; 29 earned an MS Finance degree, and 23 a Master of Accountancy degree. The inaugural class for the Master of Management in Health Care Degree will receive their diplomas in August 2009 and will have a graduation ceremony in September 2009.
Chad Holliday, chairman of the board of DuPont, delivered a dynamic, concise commencement address, using short stories to illustrate the theme “Character Counts.” He first counseled graduates to thoroughly research each company they work for to ensure that it operates to the highest ethical standards in all cases. He shared two personal stories of international ethics issues to show how DuPont lives by that principle. Holliday advised graduates to ask themselves three simple questions to test the ethics of any decision: Would you be proud if your manager knew what you chose to do? Your family? What if your action was printed in the newspaper? Holliday also related a poignant story about a 2005 trip in which he met a man who took time to ask him personal questions and really understand him. That encounter was so unique, so special, that it left a lasting impact on Holliday. “That person was a first-term senator from Illinois named Barack Obama,” Holliday said. He closed his speech by telling graduates: “You can have your own Barack Obama story if you have that same level of caring for every other person you meet.”
Jon Lehman, Associate Dean of Students and Associate Dean for Health Care Management, presented the awards to graduating students. He first recognized the members of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, an honor bestowed on graduates who rank in the top 20 percent of their class.
Awards and Recognition for Graduating Students
LEFT: The Steiner family celebrates with Justin on winning the 2009 Vanderbilt Founder’s Medal for the Owen School.
Awards and Recognition for Faculty
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit www.owen.vanderbilt.edu.