Tom Steyer Encourages 2015 Stanford GSB Graduates to “Be Open”

Annual diploma ceremony celebrates graduates degrees, certificates and awards.

June 17, 2015



Philanthropist and advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer, MBA ’83 | Saul Bromberger

Under a cloudless sky with near-perfect temperatures, Stanford Graduate School of Business honored 504 graduates at its annual diploma ceremony, Saturday, June 13, at Frost Amphitheater.

Investor, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer, MBA ’83, addressed the graduates, praising Stanford’s collaborative environment and reputation for fostering cross-disciplinary problem solving. He advised graduates to be open.

“Widen the aperture on your camera. Use your peripheral vision. Be open to different sources of information,” Steyer said. “It can be stressful and seem like a waste of time, but using a wide lens spurs creativity and collaboration. It makes you more flexible and it respects all stakeholders.”


It can be stressful and seem like a waste of time, but using a wide lens spurs creativity and collaboration. It makes you more flexible and it respects all stakeholders.
Tom Steyer

Steyer was instrumental in the creation of the joint business and law school Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, which examines issues of funding and public policy surrounding alternative energy. Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, JD/MBA ’86, also funded the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which provides research grants for alternative energy innovations in wind, solar, and advanced transmission technologies.

The energy of the 2015 graduates and their guests was palpable; the air was electric with pride and excitement as the graduates prepared for their procession, while friends and families took their seats at Frost Amphitheater.

Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner congratulated this year’s graduates, urging them to “ask yourself what you really want and have the courage to pursue it.”

Degrees Awarded

Among the 504 students awarded degrees in the 2014-15 academic year, 396 received MBAs, 15 earned PhDs, 89 earned the Master of Science for Experienced Leaders (MSx), and 4 received the Master of Arts in Business Research. Of the students receiving MBA degrees, 22 also earned joint degrees in education, 10 in law, 2 in public policy, and 12 were awarded earth sciences degrees from the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.

In recognition of coursework completed focused on using business and management skills to solve social and environmental issues, a total of 101 MBA and 18 MSx students received the Public Management Program certificate.

Awards and Honors

The academically highest 10 percent of the graduating MBA class are designated Arjay Miller Scholars after Dean Emeritus Arjay Miller, who personally offered an on-stage congratulatory handshake to this year’s 40 extraordinary achievers. Among them, one MBA student’s academic achievement at the top of the class is recognized with the designation, Henry Ford II Scholar. This year’s recipient was Sagar Prakash Sanghvi.

The Ernest C. Arbuckle Award was presented to Brian Michael Solar. The peer-nominated and chosen Arbuckle recipient is the second-year MBA student who — by active participation, initiative, leadership, and personal integrity — is deemed to have contributed the most to the fulfillment of the goals of Stanford GSB, both with the school and in society.

Peter Scott Nurnberg was this year’s recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Student Achievement Award in Finance, granted to the MBA student selected by the finance faculty for achievement in finance courses.


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