Graduating senior Cadmiel Feliz steals a glance at the crowd awaiting the start of the 2017 undergraduate convocation.

Dean Lei tells Class of 2017: Your accomplishments put Rutgers on world stage

In her speech, the dean tells graduating undergraduate students to be leaders in innovation and to be individuals who can be counted on by others.

After all of the studying, the exams, the projects and the pressure, accounting student Keith Clark was excited to celebrate his accomplishment during the 2017 convocation ceremony at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick.

Inside the Rutgers Athletic Center on May 12, Clark was among the crowd of graduating seniors, decked out in black caps and gowns, waiting for the start of convocation and looking as exuberant as runners who were crossing the finish line after a long race.

"Today is everything," Clark said, surrounded by a crowd of classmates. "This makes it real."

More than 700 undergraduates at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick attended the convocation ceremony at the RAC, filing in past stands packed with cheering family and friends. On the podium before them, were their professors, administrators, student leaders and special speakers.

Rutgers Business School Dean Lei Lei told the graduating students that their accomplishments had helped put Rutgers Business School on the state map – and the world stage.

Lei urged them to remember three B’s. Be confident, she said, because "you are the products of the No. 1 public business school in the Northeast." More than 800 students were estimated to graduate from Rutgers Business School this year.

Be leaders in innovation. "You’ve been fully prepared to take on the challenges and to solve the problems," Lei said. And "Be someone who can be counted on. Making money is not enough," she said. "Make a meaningful life."

More than 800 students graduated as part of Rutgers Business School's Class of 2017.
More than 800 students graduated as part of Rutgers Business School's Class of 2017.

Beverly Aisenbrey, former managing director of Frederick W. Cook & Co., Inc. and a Rutgers alumna, gave the convocation address. "The world of business is very, very competitive," Aisenbrey said. "It seems fitting that you are being launched into the world from a sports stadium."

Like Dean Lei, Aisenbrey offered them easy-to-remember encouragement as they begin new jobs and face new challenges. She talked about three C’s – competition, colleagues and community.

She advised them to "compete hard and gracefully" and to prove that they are "the most socially minded generation."

"I look forward to the ways you will make society better," she said.

She also reminded them not to forget Rutgers as they go out into the world. "Rutgers needs your continued involvement," she said.

Lauren Kelly, right, studied finance at Rutgers Business School and heads to Wall Street after graduation.
Senior Lauren Kelly, right, will head to a job on Wall Street after graduation.

Graduating senior Cademiel Feliz delivered a passion farewell address before the Class of 2017 was presented by Martin Markowitz, senior associate dean of the undergraduate program at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick.

As the graduating seniors started the next chapter of their lives, Feliz said they would certainly face new challenges and "opportunities for greater improvement and success." Fear, he told them, could prevent them from growing – if they listened.

"I challenge you," he said, "to find exactly what pushes you to break through your fear so you can truly chase all of your dreams."

On May 14, hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick participated in Rutgers University’s 251st commencement.

Seniors Zoe Makropoulos and Amelia Seecharan, who each received the dean’s distinguished leadership award, continued the tradition of carrying the Rutgers Business School bell and leading the procession of RBS administrators, faculty and graduating students onto the field at High Point Solutions Stadium..

Read about the 2017 Rutgers University-Newark Commencement, which included seniors graduating from Rutgers Business School.

To read more about the university-wide commencement and the speech by musician, actor and political activist Steven Van Zandt, see the story in Rutgers Today.

-Susan Todd

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