To the Class of 2019: “Think Deeply, Act Boldly, and Dream Widely”

Lord Browne of Madingley, MS ’81 and former CEO of BP, advised graduates to embrace that which makes them different.

June 18, 2019

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Lord Browne of Madingley, MS ’81 and former CEO of BP. Credit: Saul Bromberger

“Be yourselves and reshape the world,” Lord Browne of Madingley told graduating students | Saul Bromberger

“We do not have to be passive when faced with a world which makes us feel lost or powerless. There are things we can change, even if it takes time.”

On Saturday, June 15, Lord Browne of Madingley, MS ’81 and former CEO of BP, encouraged 511 graduates of Stanford Graduate School of Business to speak up for change, especially when their identities or ideas are unpopular. He referenced the challenges he faced coming out as gay in the corporate world, as well as his experience shaping and leading BP’s approach to climate change.

“Being different is a strength, while conformity is not,” he said. “Difference is what the world expects of every Stanford GSB graduate. It expects you to challenge norms rather than to obey them. It expects you to be yourselves and reshape the world … It expects you to think deeply, act boldly, and dream widely.”

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Class of 2019 graduates | Saul Bromberger

Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford GSB, addressed graduates with encouragement:

“Stanford sits on the American frontier, the frontier of innovation and discovery. In coming to Stanford, you have journeyed to that frontier. You have learned about what the future might hold, the way new technologies will reshape our lives, the way business and society will need to adapt.”

“As leaders of the future, you will have to be attentive to both technology and people. You will need to think beyond yourselves, about the impact your organizations have on the world.”

The diploma ceremony celebrated 511 graduates who earned degrees this year:

  • 409 MBA degrees
  • 79 Master of Science (MSx) degrees
  • 22 PhD degrees
  • 1 Master of Arts in Business Research

Of those graduates, 8% earned a joint degree:

  • 15 MA in Education
  • 6 JD (law)
  • 16 MS in Environment and Resources
  • 2 MS in Computer Science

Certificates in Public Management and Social Innovation were awarded to 106 graduates.

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Difference is what the world expects of every Stanford GSB graduate. It expects you to challenge norms rather than to obey them. It expects you to be yourselves and reshape the world.
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Lord Browne of Madingley

Forty-one MBA graduates were named Arjay Miller Scholars, recognized as the top 10% academically of the graduating MBA class.

The Henry Ford II Scholar, selected for academic achievement, was earned by Geoffrey Tucker Kocher.

Julianne Zhang was recognized as this year’s Ernest C. Arbuckle Award winner, chosen by her peers for having contributed most to the fulfillment of the goals of the school by her actions within the school and society.

The Alexander A. Robichek Student Achievement Award in Finance was earned by Owen Minoru Wurzbacher.

The recipient of the George G.C. Parker Prize for academic achievement in the MSx class was Brett Wilson.

Eight students were named Robert L. Joss Scholars, recognizing the academically highest 10% of the graduating MSx class.

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Class of 2019 graduates | Saul Bromberger

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