Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management celebrated Commencement Day ceremonies for the 245 members of its Class of 2012 on Friday, May 11, 2012. Gathered on Magnolia Lawn, 179 received their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree; 40 earned a Master of Finance (MSF) degree; and 26 were awarded a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. Several students from the Master of Management in Health Care (MMHC) and the Executive MBA (EMBA) programs who graduated in 2011 also participated in the ceremony.
Dean Jim Bradford and , Executive Chairman and former CEO of CLARCOR Inc., delivered remarks. "If you don't remember anything else I say today, please accept this advice: Don't play the big shot," Johnson advised graduates. "Treat people at all levels in the organization with respect and do your best to help them be successful. You will see a huge payback."
Friday's Commencement Day ceremonies also included awards for graduating students and well as faculty.
Awards and Recognition for Graduating Students
University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos awarded Scarlet Jones the Founder's Medal for the Owen School in a morning ceremony at Memorial Gymnasium. 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. (Photo-right: Scarlet Jones with family, 2012 Vanderbilt Founder's Medal for the Owen School.)
Nancy Lea Hyer, Owen's Associate Dean of Academic Programs, also recognized the winners of the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence in the MAcc and MSF programs.
- MS Finance—Hongye Liu (MSF '12)
- Master of Accountancy—Sarah Byrd (MAcc '12)
Awards and Recognition for Faculty
Mario Avila (MBA '12), President of the Owen Student Government Association, presented the James A. Webb Excellence in Teaching Award to Bill Christie, Frances Hampton Currey Professor of Management. Professor Christie teaches Managerial Finance to all MBA, Executive MBA and Master of Accountancy students.(Photo-left: Bill Christie, 2012 James A. Webb Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient)
Ray Friedman, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research, announced two recipients of the Faculty Research Productivity Award:
- From his early work at Stanford University, Joe Blackburn has developed a distinguished record of research in the Operations Management field. He arrived at Vanderbilt to study engineering in 1959, graduating as the Founder's Medalist, and has been on the Owen faculty since 1975, including serving as Interim Dean. Now, after 33 years on the faculty, Blackburn will become Emeritus faculty.
- A well-respected figure in both the academic community and the business world, Bob Whaley developed the volatility index for the Chicago Board Options Exchange 20 years ago. The VIX has gone on to become a critical barometer of market uncertainty. Since 2008, Whaley has published 11 academic research papers, including one with Owen colleague Jacob Sagi that formed the basis of Nasdaq's new Alpha Indices.
Other awards and recognition
At a ceremony held at Owen on Thursday, May 12, several other students were recognized for their achievements:
- Tristan Tucker (MBA '12) received the Matt Wigginton Leadership Award, awarded for outstanding performance in finance.
- Mario Avila (MBA '12) was presented with the H. Igor Ansoff Award, which recognizes original and creative contributions to the school.
- Samuel Frank (MBA'12) was awarded the Flournoy A. Coles Jr. Prize in recognition of outstanding performance in international management studies and global awareness.
- Greg Tomlinson (MBA '12) was chosen to receive the Financial Executives Institute Award for outstanding performance in both accounting and finance.
- Ten graduating students were presented with the Owen Service Award for outstanding effort and energy in leadership, community involvement and student life. They are:
- Clark Bosslet (MBA '12)
- Gianna DelliCarpini (MBA '12)
- Aaron Fung (MBA '12)
- Dericka Hudson (MBA '12)
- Blake Knight (MBA '12)
- Bill Kottenstette (MBA '12)
- Jamie Lillard (MAcc '12)
- Courtney Necessary (MBA '12)
- Phil Shelato (MBA '12)
- Melissa Skinner (MBA '12)