"Up to now, you have been evaluated almost exclusively on what you know and on your potential," said Robert L. Joss, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, addressing the graduates of the School's 83rd Commencement. "From now on, it will be on what you can actually do."
Family and friends gathered in Frost Amphitheater on June 14, 2008 to honor this year's 445 graduates. Of the 374 who received the Master of Business Administration degree, 23 are joint graduates with the School of Education and 4 of the School of Law. An additional 46 received Master's Degrees after completing the Sloan program, 22 received doctorates, and 3 received Master of Business Research degrees.
Joss expressed deep appreciation for the "record-smashing" class gift pledged by 96 percent of the MBA class, which raised more than $1.2 million for what the '08 Class has named the One Million Dreams Fund. "You are the most amazing class," said Joss.
In introducing the MBA class, Senior Associate Dean David Kreps said, "The Class of 2008 will be viewed as very special. You were here during a period of exciting change, as we planned a new campus, strengthened our ties to the rest of Stanford, and planned and then began to implement a new MBA curriculum. I can't say it better than did Dean Joss in his last email to the class: 'As the last class to go through the "old" curriculum, yours was both a challenging position and one full of opportunity. It might have been tempting to grow frustrated or disengaged. But instead, you took the bold and noble step of acting as our partners in this time of transition.'"
Adam Anderson was named the recipient of this year's Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, presented by Susan, the youngest daughter of the School's third dean. Nominated and chosen by fellow MBA classmates, the awardee is honored as the individual deemed to have contributed most to the School and society through his active participation, initiative, leadership, and personal integrity. Citing a classmate's nominating comment, Arbuckle said, "If everyone in society had the energy and initiative to match this person's participation in the GSB we would change lives, change organizations, change the world."
Laura Nisonger received the Alexander A. Robicheck Student Achievement Award in Finance. Established in 1978, this award is given to an MBA student selected by the finance faculty for achievement in finance courses. The award recognizes Professor Robicheck's outstanding contribution to the teaching of finance at Stanford Business School from 1960 until his death in 1978.
Graduating at the top of his class, Alan Resnikoff was named the Henry Ford II Scholar. In recognition of his academic achievement, Resnikoff receives the Miller Scholar scroll, a substantial cash award, and his name engraved on a plaque displayed in the School's South Building.
Senior Associate Dean John Roberts, the John H. Scully Professor of Economics, Strategic Management, and International Business, recognized 67 students in the MBA and Sloan Masters programs who completed a series of courses to earn the Certificate in Global Management. Created in 1994, the School's Global Management Program aims to help students prepare for management careers in a global economy and to highlight the School's emphasis on international business.
William Barnett, the Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations, acknowledged the accomplishments of the 68 MBA and Sloan Master's recipients of the Certificate in Public Management. Created in 1971, the Public Management Program at first focused almost entirely on government, later broadening to also encompass nonprofit management and socially responsible business.
For the first time, a live webcast allowed far-flung family and friends to share in the celebration. After the ceremony, MBA graduate Leah Vernett Hodge was among 9 graduates to add a personal message when she stood in front of the camera, flashed her diploma, and expressed her love and thanks to her 90-year-old grandparents and mother in Florida, who were unable to travel. Likewise Rhyan Lim Uy, joined by his sister Rachel, stood in front of the camera and said hello to their mother in Cleveland and father in the Philippines. "Wish you were here. Take care. Looking forward to seeing you back home," he said.
"We talk here a lot about changing lives, changing organizations, changing the world," said Joss. "Of course, the lives we made to change are yours so that you would go and change, and build, and strengthen organizations that would change the world—a world that desperately needs new leadership. As we bid you farewell, I hope and I believe strongly that yours are lives that are more promising and more fulfilling because of your time with us, and I wish you well."