The Yale School of Management hosted its 37th Commencement, and the first in the new Edward P. Evans Hall, on May 19. In a ceremony in the courtyard of the Norman Foster-designed campus, more than 300 members of the Class of 2014 received their diplomas.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs and Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, began the ceremony by inviting the new graduates to stand and acknowledge the family and friends seated behind them, per Yale SOM tradition. “Applaud your family, friends, and supporters who sacrificed so much to make your time at SOM possible,” Sonnenfeld said.
The class included 243 students in the MBA program, 38 in the Master of Advanced Management (MAM) program, and 26 in the MBA for Executives (EMBA) program. “Nothing makes us more proud today than our graduates,” said Dean Edward A. Snyder. “I have the best feeling about the Class of 2014 and what you will accomplish in your professional lives.”
Snyder noted the class’ global roots and rich variety of professional backgrounds and aspirations. “We are committed to the school’s expansive role in business and society,” he said. “You, the Class of 2014, have stepped up to the challenge that this enduring role implies.”
One student speaker from each degree program delivered remarks. MAM class speaker Aldo Alberto Sales Saud ’14 noted the diversity of his class, whose 38 members spoke 12 languages, attended 14 different Global Network for Advanced Management schools, and hailed from 19 countries.
“But there is something that we all have in common: trying to be the best version of ourselves,” Saud said. “Let’s be the global leaders we’ve been prepared to be…Let’s not be afraid of failure, because failure is the best teacher in the world.”
EMBA class speaker George Alan Kurose ’14 recalled how SOM professors and administrators told his entering class—a diverse group of healthcare professionals with decades of experience—that SOM would change the way they think. “That promise was kept to us,” Kurose said. “We look at problems differently now…We understand situations differently…We look at the world around us through a set of lenses we did not have [before.]”
MBA graduate Carol Rosenfeld ’14 thanked her classmates for creating such a supportive community. “It has been an incredible privilege to spend two years here studying with and getting to know all of you,” she said. “[SOM students] are fiercely loyal friends and colleagues. We look to expand the pie, not just capture it.”
Delivering the ceremony’s closing remarks, Anjani Jain, senior associate dean, encouraged the departing class to maintain a sense of pride and humility. “You were drawn to a university that has been a beacon to some of the greatest minds in the last three centuries,” Jain said. “The credentials you have earned and the diploma you now hold in your hands will open doors for you throughout your life.