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Students throwing their hats in the air at graduation

Yale SOM Celebrates and Congratulates the Class of 2024

Family, friends, and classmates gathered in the sunny Shen Courtyard at Evans Hall as the school honored the 571 graduating members of the Class of 2024. 

The Yale School of Management hosted its 47th Commencement on May 20, awarding diplomas to 571 members of the Class of 2024 during a festive celebration in the Shen Courtyard at Evans Hall.

Family and friends cheered from their seats as the graduating class entered, and Yale SOM Dean Kerwin K. Charles congratulated the students and the people who have nurtured them before and during their SOM journeys.

Charles called the assembled students, who spanned six degree programs, “the most extraordinarily well-qualified and accomplished class the school has ever had.”

“I believe that you are all animated by a distinct and impressive set of values that are consistent with the school’s mission of producing leaders who will excel and be transformative and impactful, not only in business, but in society more broadly,” Charles said. “You will leave the world more just, more decent, and better than you found it.”

A person in a red academic robe posing with a bulldog in front of Evans Hall
Four graduating students wearing caps and gowns taking a selfie
A graduating student and two family members posing in front of Evans Hall
A procession of students led by a bagpiper, a bulldog, and a person with a sign reading "School of Management"

Charles also took a moment to commend the students for the way they have responded to the war between Israel and Hamas. Charles noted that, like many others worldwide, SOM students have “suffered heartbreaking loss and pain” as a result of the conflict. But, he said, SOM students have maintained composure and respect, listening to each other without rancor and hosting a recent campus vigil.

“I have been awed by your maturity, your commitment to ensuring that multiple perspectives are heard and respected,” Charles said. “You have my undying admiration and appreciation for how you’ve handled yourselves.”

A graduating student walking away from the stage with a diploma
Three seated students wearing caps and gowns
A graduating student holding up a diploma
Several seated students wearing caps and gowns
A student in a cap and gown holding a baby, also wearing a graduation cap
A seated student in a cap and gown reading a program

Commencement began with a procession from Evans Hall to Old Campus, where SOM graduates joined their peers from all parts of the university for the official conferral of their degrees by Yale President Peter Salovey.

SOM’s graduating class included 330 students in the full-time MBA program, 47 in the Master of Advanced Management (MAM) program, 57 in the MBA for Executives (EMBA) program, 10 in the Master’s Degree in Systemic Risk program, 70 in the Master’s Degree in Global Business and Society (GBS) program, and 57 in the Master’s Degree in Asset Management program.

Graduates representing the school’s six degree-granting programs delivered short comments before the awarding of diplomas.

Amaziah Coleman ’24, speaking for the EMBA program, thanked the faculty, staff, family, friends, and employers who have supported her classmates. “On our first day at Yale SOM, a wise woman told us to ‘Keep calm, and don’t fall behind,’” she said.

“These words of wisdom not only resonated throughout the past 22 months, but still hold value for how to live the rest of our lives. We have been transformed [by] our exceptional faculty, our experiences beyond the classroom, and the wealth of experiences and insights we were able to glean from each other.”

A graduating student speaking at a podium
A graduating student speaking at a podium
A graduating student speaking at a podium
A graduating student speaking at a podium
A graduating student speaking at a podium
A graduating student speaking at a podium

GBS program speaker Filippos Menozzi ’24 urged his classmates to embrace the challenge of changing the world. “We can consider ourselves lucky and grateful to ourselves and to the people who gave us the opportunity to be here,” he said. “But what is this opportunity? Simply, it is making this world a better place. SOM has done a lot to help us in that direction.”

Systemic Risk program representative Fernando Landa Saldaña ’24 expressed a similar sentiment, encouraging his classmates to use their financial training to serve society.

“This is a special degree, as it keeps alive the unique vision with which this school was founded in the 70s: training managers across the business, non-profit, and government sector,” he said. “Let the world know that in this school we train a special kind of manager, managers who aspire to become guardians—guardians of financial stability, guardians of us all.”

Two graduating students walking away from a stage with their diplomas
A family posing with a graduating student

Speaking for the Asset Management Program, Yuxin He ’24 said that while he usually foregoes public displays of sentiment, his happy moments at Yale inspired him to speak today. “It's with a heavy heart that I acknowledge our paths will soon diverge after a brief, yet unforgettable, 10 months,” he said. “How I wish for this splendid chapter to extend, akin to the gentle embrace of the newly arrived summer.”

MAM program speaker Aditi Srivastava ’24 also commended the SOM community. “The friends I made here were truly an extended family,” she said. “My time at Yale made me do things that I had only dreamt of, from solo travels across continents, to hustling a part-time job, to doing a consulting stint in one of my dream organizations. I think the magic came from the ability of the Yale community to help me be my best.”

A graduating student holding a child
A graduating student holding a diploma and smiling
A graduating student walking across the stage with two children

Speaking for the full-time MBA program, MiChaela Barker ’24 borrowed imagery from the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis, urging her classmates to consider how they will spend the years represented by the “dash” symbol between dates of birth and death on tombstones.

“Your dash is represented by a small character. But you, my friends, are not small characters,” Barker said. “You are scholars, leaders, and you are now graduates of the Yale School of Management. Thank you for sharing your dash with me.”