During the 80th commencement of Stanford Graduate School of Business, Dean Robert L. Joss acknowledged the record-breaking class gifts of the MBA and Sloan Master's Program classes of 2005.
Joss presided over the diploma ceremony that honored the 451 individuals awarded degrees this academic year. Stanford GSB conferred 373 Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees, 2 of them joint degrees with Stanford's School of Law, and 9 of them joint degrees with Stanford's School of Education. Eighteen students received doctorates, six received a Master of Arts in Business Research degree, and 54 graduates of the Stanford Sloan Master's Program received the Master of Science in Management degree.
During the ceremony, Joss paused to remember two tragedies during the academic year. "While this is an occasion of celebration and joy, it's also an occasion of remembrance and sadness," said Joss. "We're particularly sad today, for all of us are missing an MBA classmate, James Hsu, who was sadly taken from us during the Boxing Day tsunami off the coast of Thailand." Joss also remembered the MBA student from the University of California, Irvine, who died during a business schools charity event held at Stanford.
The tsunami tragedy also had an impact on this year's Ernest C. Arbuckle Award recipient, Bryan Pallop Gaw, who received the award from Susan Arbuckle, youngest daughter of the former dean of Stanford GSB. "This award is the student body's way of honoring that individual who has shared with them a unique blend of activism and character," said Arbuckle. Gaw served on the Global Management Program leadership team and the admissions advisory council, and volunteered with the class gift effort. Gaw also led the December study trip to Singapore and Thailand and was heralded for "his unselfish and determined efforts in search and rescue in the aftermath of the tsunami," Arbuckle said.
"This year is remarkable in that more than 80 percent of the class cast votes [for the Arbuckle award], resulting in the highest level of participation and the closest vote in a long time," said Arbuckle. "Both points reveal the quality of ties members of this class have with each other, and the quantity of people who have made a very lasting impact."
This close-knit bond was also evidenced in the record-breaking class gifts raised by this year's MBA and Sloan students. As of graduation day, an unprecedented 94 percent of the 2005 MBA Class raised more than $407,321 and exceeded the previous record by nearly $100,000.
The Stanford Sloan Master's Program, in its third year of class giving, also demonstrated a commitment to the School through its fundraising. One hundred percent of the Class of 2005 Sloan students participated to raise $57,058 for the Sloan Endowment Fund. "We are deeply grateful and appreciative" of the classes' collective generosity, Joss said.
Of the MBA graduates, 37 achieved distinction as Arjay Miller Scholars. Named in honor of the fourth dean of Stanford GSB, who was on hand to personally congratulate them, Arjay Miller Scholars are ranked in the top 10 percent of their class by academic performance.
At the top of the class, Sam D. Yagan was named the Henry Ford II Scholar and presented with a check for $15,000. The Chicago native and Internet entrepreneur majored in applied math as an undergraduate at Harvard University. In an unusually tight contest, MBA classmate Virginia DeJesus-Rueff was recognized as having come "as close to second place as any of us in the dean's office can recall," said David Kreps, senior associate dean for academic affairs. DeJesus-Rueff earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Dartmouth College.
Finance faculty selected Simon I. Patterson to receive the Alexander A. Robichek Student Achievement Award in Finance, for excellence in coursework in the discipline. Patterson holds an undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
Special recognition was given to graduates who took on extra coursework to complete the certificate program in Global Management, dedicated to global issues and international business. Among the 130 recipients, 17 Sloan fellows received certificates. Similarly, certificates of completion were awarded to 52 MBA and 6 Sloan graduates who passed the course of study in the Public Management Program, created under the leadership of Dean Emeritus Arjay Miller in 1971 to train leaders for the public sector.