Dean Kerwin K. Charles welcomed new students in Yale SOM’s residential master’s degree programs in a virtual address delivered as part of a three-day orientation program at the end of August, in advance of the start of classes on August 31.
Charles acknowledged the extraordinary circumstances under which students in the full-time MBA, Master of Advanced Management, Master’s Degree in Global Business and Society, and Master’s Degree in Systemic Risk programs were beginning their Yale education.
“Whatever it took for you to get here,” he said, “whatever you’ve navigated these past few months, I am immensely grateful that you have joined us. I know that you are here, like me, because of SOM’s distinctive mission to educate leaders for business and society.”
Charles asked students to join him in working toward racial justice, and to debate this and other important issues vigorously and with respect. “We, the SOM family, are compelled to address this issue in a meaningful and thoughtful fashion,” he said, “not only because of our obligations as concerned members of the larger society, but also because engagement with pressing social concerns of this sort is part of what makes our mission unique.”
He urged students to “bring to every activity a spirit of excitement and energy. You’re studying at the Yale School of Management. How awesome is that?”
The unprecedented efforts by faculty and staff to prepare for the fall semester, and the strict safety protocols under which students will begin their education, are all intended to help the school deliver the key aspects of a Yale SOM education, Charles said.
“While things may look and feel different right now, and much remains unknown about the months ahead, SOM remains true to its mission, to educate you for the leadership roles in business and society that society so desperately needs.”