2019 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony – Carlson School

[music] [music] [music] [music] Please be seated. Students, family members,
friends, faculty, staff… Welcome to the 2019 Carlson School of Management
Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony! Joining me on stage for this special day
are some of the people who have guided our graduates through what I hope has
been a life-changing experience. Please hold your applause, as we recognize all
of these honored guests together. Representing the University of Minnesota
Board of Regents; the Honorable Randy Simonson; Representing the Office of
Affairs and Provost , Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean of
Undergraduate Education; Our distinguished alumni and keynote speaker, Jim Weber,
Chairman and CEO of Brooks Running Company; Raj Singh, Associate Dean of the
Undergraduate Program, Brian Milovich, President of the Carlson Alumni Board;
And last, but certainly not least, the distinguished faculty of the Carlson School of
Management. Without them, today would not have been possible. Let’s give them all a
round of applause. Another group who deserves your very
special cheers are the family and friends who are here with us today or
watching the live stream online. The support you have provided your loved one
during their studies was critical to their success. Thank you and
congratulations to all of you as well! Students, we are here today to award you
a degree that recognizes your tireless efforts, acknowledges your scholarly
achievements, and symbolizes the transformative effect of business
education. Whether you use the degree you have earned from the Carlson School to
pursue a career in business, start your own company, lead a nonprofit or pursue
further studies; it will undoubtedly help you realize that business is a force for
good, and position you to create a better tomorrow.
While many organizations have a mission statement, at the Carlson School we focus
instead on our purpose. Our purpose is clear, and it is compelling. Our purpose
is to inspire and enable individuals and organizations to create a brighter
future. I think we are achieving that purpose. The Class of 2019 didn’t wait
for graduation to begin making a difference. You mentored, taught and
engaged with middle school students from under-represented backgrounds. You
participated in the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program and helped
international students and other individuals in the University community
with their tax returns. Atland Ventures launched the first student-owned and
student-run venture capital firm. They have raised over half a million dollars
for the initial fund, and have made five seed stage investments in startup
companies around the country. I hope they’re very successful. You collaborated
with firms in Costa Rica on data challenges to
help them prepare for the climate change issues facing their
regions facing their region. And, you did all this while you were still students. I
can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish as alumni. Yes, you are now alumni you
have become members of a community that includes more than 55,000 graduates who
came before you. You’ve joined a global force that reaches across 100 plus
countries, yet is deeply connected to this campus and to each other. This year,
the Carlson School turns 100 years old! Our faculty have educated inspired and
inspired ethical, driven and innovative leaders for a century, and our alumni
have supported each new generation of leaders and helped them succeed. Our
alumni are part of our strength and part of our history. You are connected to that
past, you are connected to one another today, and I hope you’ll continue the
rich history of staying connected to the Carlson School by investing your time
and your talents in our purpose to create a brighter future. I will close with
one final thought that I hope you remember for the rest of your life —
The value of the degree you are receiving today is not fixed. Instead, it
has the power to appreciate with proper stewardship. I hope you will follow those
who have come before you and make the Carlson School better for those who will
follow. It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make.
On behalf of the University of Minnesota and the faculty and staff of the Carlson
School of Management, I offer upi sincere congratulations on
your degree. We are proud of all that you have achieved to date and are even more
excited about all that you will accomplish in the years to come. It’s now my privilege to introduce our
keynote speaker. Jim Weber serves as the CEO of Brooks Running, a Seattle-based
company focused on producing the best running shoes and gear on the planet. I’m
wearing my Brooks Running shoes because I’m terrified that a giant gopher is
going to come chasing after me one of these days. Jim has been CEO of Brooks
since 2001 and has presided over an incredible era of growth and innovation.
But his roots are squarely here in Minnesota. Jim grew up in St. Paul, and
like many Minnesotans, he harbored early dreams of being an NHL hockey player. But
he also had an innate curiosity about business, and his leadership skills were
on display from an early age. Jim was class president of his high school and
of his fraternity at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his BSB from
the School of Management in 1982. While pursuing his business degree, Jim
benefited from something that is a hallmark of the Carlson School
experience today, which is connections to this great local corporate community. His
favorite course was taught by the incredible Minnesota businessman
Wheelock Whitney, and featured guest lecturers from a number of area CEOs. To
this day Jim remembers Wheelock’s closing comment: that “the most important
attribute you can have is good judgment.” Jim began his career right here in the
Twin Cities with a role at NorWest Bank and later, NorWest Venture Capital. With
aspirations toward leadership at the highest level, Jim moved east to pursue
his MBA from the Tuck School of Business and then returned to Minnesota to join
Pillsbury. There, he observed the perils of underinvestment in a brand,
and learned valuable lessons that would guide his later success. Eager for a
challenge, Jim joined the struggling shoe company in Seattle in 2001. Brooks had
burned through CEOs in two years, and was not exactly a
winning proposition. Their portfolio of products was based on volume and value,
dependent on selling large numbers of inexpensive family footwear.
Brooks was on the brink of bankruptcy and it lacked any cohesive brand
identity. So Jim did the unthinkable he slashed Brooks’ product
offerings by half, thus cut sales by half. He moved away from discount stores and
terminated the company’s agreement with its biggest retail customer. In an
industry that’s built on expensive marketing and celebrity athlete
endorsements, Brooks looked inward and focused on Research and Development,
technology and most importantly innovation. Jim’s plan was for Brooks was
very simple. They would make running shoes and only running shoes for runners —
he assured me that walkers were okay. Brooks began rebuilding its brand based
on superior technology. The company garnered a reputation for quality shoes
that fit well and worked particularly for performance running. And wouldn’t you
know, running seems to be recession-proof! When the downturn hit in 2008,
Brooks running took off. Between 2009 and 2012, sales went from 191 million dollars
to $409 million annually. Today, the company is truly global in reach, and has
revenues exceeding $650 million. Sales and year-over-year growth are not the
only reason to recognize a successful alumnus. Jim truly embodies the Carlson
School’s belief that business IS a force for good.
He has positioned Brooks as an industry leader in sustainability and responsible
sourcing. Over the last 18 years, Jim has cultivated a company culture that
embraces the value of joy in the workplace because, after all, work can and
should be fun! As Dean of the Carlson School, I couldn’t be more proud of all
that Jim has accomplished and I’m eager to hear his advice
that he has for all of us today. Graduates of the Class of 2019, please
join me in welcoming Jim Weber. Dean Zaheer is that just me or does
she look faster today those shoes? Look great. Thank you so much for that
introduction. Dean Zaheer, Vice Provost McMaster, Regent
Simonson, members of the faculty and administration, families and friends and,
most importantly you the graduates: thank you for allowing me to participate in
your great day. What an honor to be back on campus to celebrate your commencement
in Carlsen’s 100th year. As you will learn in the years ahead…
returning to campus is going to bring back a flood of memories. 37 years ago, I
sat right where you are now, and I can say that Carlson School truly was a
launchpad for me. Back in 1979, I joined Sigma Nu fraternity literally just down
the road and I was elected chapter chair. It was really my first business
turnaround for us as we grew membership from 40 to some 80 members we had fun
fixing up the house and creating great experiences… and I remember well hiking
to class on those cold winter days finding every tunnel you could before
you hit the bridge the Washington Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River… that
bridge box felt like a freezer I think it was colder inside than outside.
Today Carlson is 100th commencement is indeed about celebrating your moment.
You made a key life decision when you enrolled at the U of M. After many years
of work, focus and effort — and in many cases with the support of your friends
and families here today — you find yourself closing this chapter…
and turning the page to the next chapter in your life. That’s exciting! When I
look back at my graduation moments, I distinctly remember the ceremony and
holding that diploma in my hand. It was well-earned and paid for with 7% student
loans! But I must say, I don’t recall a riveting commencement speech… Not a word!
And coming, I have to come completely clean with you all — I’ve never done one
of these before! But nevertheless, I am determined today to honor
you moment today. So my goal is to share what it means to me… to be a leader.
More specifically – to be an authentic leader. For me it still distills down to
three things: Focus… Curiosity… and Trust. Today, I want to challenge you to become
an authentic leader because I believe the world needs them now more than ever.
It’s relevant for all whether you’re an entrepreneur, a team leader, heading a
non-profit or a community organization, a CEO or a CEO of your own household.
How you behave and play your role impacts your team that you lead every
day and, of course it’s ultimately going to impact your success. My personal
leadership journey has introduced to me many many people who are so good at what
they do. These seemingly natural and authentic leaders fascinate and impress
me. I’ll admit, I’ve been a shameless thief of their wisdom. All along the way
from the highly talented Pillsbury Executive, Jerry Levin who I worked for
for ten years I witnessed his quick conceptual brain, his strategic clarity
on things and his “calm under pressure” managed management with people. Just the
way he dealt with people too. Then the “Oracle” – Warren Buffett, the chairman of
Berkshire Hathaway, who so impressed me as a genius business mind but this
immense capacity for people — immense capacity, very generous. With Warren, the
opportunity for me to work with him on one hand seemed destined to be but on
the other hand an opportunity almost lost. So I’m gonna share my Warren story
with you. It began in 1985 when I came across Warren Buffett’s annual letters
and I became a voracious reader of them every year, and I went to school on how
he looked at brands and how he looked at businesses. It was just he thought
differently. Fast forward to 2012 when I was now CEO of Brooks, and we were on our
third owner since I’d been there, and it was Fruit of the Loom, which was a
Berkshire Hathaway company. On Monday, January 2nd at 7 a.m.,
I returned from my desk from a family holiday trip ready to kick off the new
year. While out, I’d been checking my email but not my voicemail — that was
actually a big mistake. It was about the time voicemail was going back into the
rearview mirror. But that Monday, I got to my desk and the red light on my phone
was blinking, and it was a voicemail from Warren Buffett. “Jim, I’ve got an idea.
Call me when you can.” Well, my heart sank, because I had just left a voicemail sit
in my inbox for five days from Warren Buffett.
Argh! This was not good. I captured myself, I picked up the phone, called the number,
and he instantly answered, “Hello?” And again, I stopped. Warren Buffett answers
his own phone. He answers his own phone. So he went on, “Jim, I’ve been thinking.
Brooks is doing well I’m gonna spin you out of Fruit of the Loom and set you up
as a standalone Berkshire subsidiary. And being thoughtful I said, “You know Warren,
I think that’s a great idea. I think that would work well.” So on we went, and I told
him that he’d been mentoring me from afar for 25 years and it really felt
like destiny to me. To work with Warren at that point in my career, in my
leadership journey was perfect timing. He exemplifies to me authentic leadership
in so many ways and really reinforced what I was focused on. And as I
mentioned, authentic leadership, I think, is synthesized into these three
key areas: focus, curiosity, and trust. So I’m going to start with focus. It was
here at Carlson where I would be introduced to the importance of focus.
The highlight came in the last quarter of 1982 in the Management 5101 advanced
topics course on leadership. It featured different CEOs from the best companies
in Minnesota at that time and included 3M, Target, Cray research, Marvin Windows,
and others, and the course was taught by Wheelock Whitney. Wheelock was the former
CEO of Dane Bosworth, now RBC Wealth Management, and had actually run for
governor in Minnesota. So Wheelock was super smart, insightful,
but he was oh so human. His manner was gracious, generous, unpretentious, and
inclusive. As students, we were invited to his home. He played guitar and sang songs
around the campfire. He was the closest thing I’d seen to a Renaissance man at
that point in my life, and I’ll never forget his closing speech on the course.
In the end, he made it clear that to be an effective leader, you’ve got to
have good judgment, because you’ve got to create clarity of focus on mission and
strategy for your team, or you’re gonna risk that they won’t follow you. And I
took that insight with me everywhere I went from that day forward. In fact, I
used it my first big job interview with my boss to be. He asked me that that big
question point-blank: why should I hire you? Literally like
that. And I quickly responded, “You should hire me because I have good judgment.” And
it worked. I got hired and later, when I took the helm of Brooks Running in
2001, I found a leadership truth that for me was just foundational. It was
Benjamin Disraeli and I put this on my white board. “The secret to success is
constancy of purpose.” I believe it’s just truth, and it’s still on my whiteboard
today. “The secret to success is constancy of purpose.” My business experience to
that point had led me to the conviction that purpose with sustained focus wins
the game. But what was Brooks’s focus? Back then, we were a small broad-based
athletic footwear and apparel company competing with all the brands you all
know well, and we were trying to be everything to everyone and hence were
really meaningful to no one. So with loads of debt, bankruptcy was
around the corner if we couldn’t find a focus that we could win at. So we made
the judgment that Brooks would focus on building a brand with runners and go all
in with them. We burned the boats on everything else — on basketball, family
footwear, tennis shoes — only running. And against some of the best brands in the
consumer world, we planted our flag on a singular purpose: to inspire everyone
to run and be active, and it was a unique position then that I thought could save
the company, but also had a chance to stand the test of time. And now, eighteen
years later, we’re a leading brand in the performance running category and having
lots of fun building a brand and growing it. So I think focus is key for authentic
leadership — focus with good judgment. The second attribute I think is key to
authentic leadership is curiosity, and for me, curiosity is about solving
puzzles in a constantly changing world. To avoid being a one-hit wonder, you’ve
got to develop a great radar as a leader and then be willing to recalibrate,
because nothing ever stays the same for very long.
A curious attitude often reflects humility of your understanding of the
world around you. Early in my career at Pillsbury, I had one of those humility
moments. I was a junior analyst and had the opportunity to present to the
executive committee strategic analyses and competitive company profiles. Being
in the restaurant business at the time with Burger King, the committee was
always looking at innovative new concepts, and so I was often pitching
these ideas to the top execs including the CEO, the CFO, and all of the business
heads this time. It was a profile of a hot new restaurant concept with three
stores in Dallas called Chili’s. Having never eaten at a Mexican food restaurant
— I couldn’t find any in the Twin Cities back then — I intensively
researched the the company, all pre-internet, if you can imagine. And I
went on to describe Chili’s on acetates and an overhead projector. You gotta
visualize pre-PowerPoint on this. So I explained that Chili’s success was being
driven by this hot new menu item — this thing called a “fagita,” and I was pitching
this innovation with enthusiasm, as these “fagitas” were selling like crazy, driving
premium margins revenue growth. And I was selling it while the room started to
chuckle and laugh, and finally, Jeff Campbell, the head of restaurants, said,
“Weber, you need to get out a little more.”
I also should have taken Spanish language class and learn how to
pronounce fajita. But I powered through the rest of my presentation and the
lesson learned was to forge ahead, but with humble curiosity. Solving for
customer needs, it takes an intense curiosity, and it’s crucial to what I’ve
come to call competitive strategy, and my first experience with that concept was
here at Carlson in one of our many case- centric courses. It was in Professor
Gaumnitz’s Management 3004 public policy class, and it was a strategy case in this
mature industry with a brand new entrance, a small “David” brand, who had
caught the market leader, the “Goliath” brand, sleeping. And the small insurgent
brand locked the industry with product innovation that captured a major share
of customers in the marketplace. That looked like so much fun to me. I
literally, I said I want to do that. That just looked like, like such fun. So many
today call that disrupting the category, but that’s really, when you think about
it, just an outcome. It’s actually about solving for customer’s wants and needs
better than anyone else, and you can only do that by being curious, you can only do
it. I’ve been curious. By learning faster, executing boldly against insights, David
can beat Goliath. So at Brookes, you know, we think we’re creating brand
affinity in the minds of customers every day, and I think a huge part of our
success is actually a curious mindset. I’m most proud of our recent strategy
reset to navigate the absolute revolution in consumer behavior in
retail this last five years. Our revenues stalled in 2015 and the radars we used
for reading market trends were no longer working. We went into a learning mode, and
we began the process of re-evaluating all of our assumptions on the market, the
consumer, the industry, our competitors. We then made choices and committed to
boldly execute on behalf of the customer. And, it worked! Our success was earned in
2018. We were up 26% and attract nearly 2 million new runners to our
brand. At Berkshire Hathaway, Warren’s partner, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger,
reminds us regularly to avoid the ABCs: arrogance, bureaucracy, and complacency.
Others with capital and brains are always going to be trying to breach your
moat and take away your customers, and so staying humble, remaining curious,
avoiding complacency is essential — especially following great success. A
final point on staying curious: reevaluating and recalibrating doesn’t
mean you lose sight of your constancy of purpose. The truth was captured, this
truth really was captured best by I think one of our greatest leaders of all
time, Thomas Jefferson, who said, “In manners of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
I think that’s powerful, but it’s also I think one of the hardest things to do in
the fog of competitive disruption, to discern where to bend with industry
trends and where to stand anchored in your brand principles. These are good
judgment required puzzles that you’ve got to solve, where your curiosity has
got to be integrated with this constancy of purpose. These calls require
courage, but I can vouch that at Brooks, those calls have been moments where we
have really created a foundation for our brand. They’ve been brand defining
moments for us, and we’ve worked with them that way. So, the third attribute
that I want to tie to authentic leadership is trust. So life, and business,
is absolutely still all about people. Happiness and fulfillment in your
life is going to come from your relationships with the people that
matter to you. For me, it’s my wife, my kids, my grandkids, it’s my family and
close friends. and my teammates at Brooks with whom I share our brand
building journey. However, I didn’t start out with all of this wisdom. Early in my
career, I was, I was pretty wonky, and intensely
searching for the right answers. And for me, that usually meant looking at the
numbers, definitely more IQ than EQ. In hindsight,
how I won over my wife Mary Ellen is still a bit of a mystery to me. We dated
through our years here at the U – she’s a gopher – and given my lack of emotional
intelligence, I can only credit her with having
tremendous vision and patience. And she’s here today, so thank you, Mary Ellen. Upon
graduation, I got an offer from Norwest Bank Minneapolis in John Lindahl’s
group and embarked on a path to become a commercial banker. And at the bank,
analyzing business strategies and financial statements led me to a key
insight: that human behavior was seemingly behind every number and
everything in business. It’s one thing as you now have all done to look at an
income statement, but when you look through it, you can see that revenue
actually reflects customer’s buying behaviors. And when you look at gross
margin and through that it’s reflecting what customers are actually paying for
products and what prices they’re willing to to spend. Likewise, a negotiation isn’t
just winning or win-win. It’s actually relationship building plus persuasion
skills with a poker game attached. And, even great algorithms often simply mimic or
predict human behavior at scale. So in the end, even banking required creating
relationships with people, and that meant generating trust. It all came back to
trust. I went on to develop conviction that brands, and I was in the branded
consumer business, are built over decades on a foundation of trust and shared
values with their customers. At Brooks, we aspire to be a trustable brand. It starts
with a product experience, but it goes much deeper. We’re a purpose-driven brand
around the fact that a run will make your day better. If you get out and
moved in the morning, it’s going to make your day better. We compete with our
culture and values and we think if we can express them consistently in
everything we do, over time, Brooks will resonate with like-minded people. They’ll
trust us rationally and emotionally. So I want to challenge
you to think about yourself as an authentic leader.
It’s a white space out there that is absolutely fillable. Over the last thirty
years, I’ve watched so many of our leaders, institutions, businesses,
governments, religious organizations, all suffer from a loss of trust. The stories
are sadly all too common and current examples today of respected
brands where trust has been compromised unfortunately include Facebook and Wells
Fargo. It’s a time of increasing transparency and scrutiny. People are
looking for who they can trust, and part of being trusted is embracing diversity
and inclusion. Not only is it fair and respectful, but it makes for stronger
teams. I think most businesses are focused on it, especially in the consumer
world. I don’t know a brand that can afford to lose one customer, but I think
also you need to mirror as an organization the diversity of your
customer base, because if you don’t, over time, you’re gonna miss the mark and lose
trust. And in that way, we feel fortunate at Brooks, because running is one of the
most approachable and inclusive sports the world has ever known. It welcomes all
ages, backgrounds, abilities. All you have to do to belong is run. And I’m a little
older now, so I think walking counts as slow running. Everybody’s in. So as you
walk, or run, today, and hold that diploma in your hand, you have an incredible
opportunity to become an authentic leader, to become your best self. Find
your focus. Use good judgment to identify your purpose. Ideally, it’s gonna be one
that reflects your superpowers and something that gives you energy. Second,
stay curious. Be a learner, not a knower. Be open to recalibrating your radar. Stay
humble and avoid complacency. Finally, be trustable. To the people on your team,
as well as the stakeholders who matter to your organization.
Your behavior is your most valuable currency. In the end, you’ll be authentic
to yourself and to others, and that will be a leadership uniform that will always
fit you well. So congratulations again on your achievement, and Godspeed to you all!
Thank you. Thank you Jim. At the beginning of your
speech, you said you don’t recall one word of the commencement address given
at your graduation, but I have no doubt that the class of 2019 will remember the
words that you have left with them. Find your focus, stay curious, be trustable.
Great advice not just for authentic leadership, but also in
everyday life. Now, I’d like you to just come up for a moment as a symbol of our
appreciation. We have a little commemorative crystal for you that I
hope you’ll remember, that’ll serve as a reminder of today. Thank you. Next I’d like to introduce someone all
our undergrads know very well, Raj Singh, the Associate Dean of our Undergraduate
Program. He will present the Carlson School’s beloved Tomato Can Loving Cup
Award. Raj, would you please come to the podium? The Carlson School has numerous
outstanding students and some of their special achievements are indicated in
today’s program that you have. But in the interest of time, we ask only one student
to come up on stage to receive an award. The Tomato Can Loving Cup Award is the
oldest award given to students by the Carlson School of Management.
Today, it’s being presented to an outstanding undergraduate for the 91st
consecutive year – you heard it right, 91st consecutive year. A very momentous
occasion in the history of the Carleton School of Management. The award itself is
indeed a tomato soup can which we have preserved over the years, and on it are
the signatures and the engraved names of the 90 previous recipients. The tomato
Can Award recipient, following two years of professional work experience, is
eligible for half tuition scholarship to the Carleton School’s full-time MBA
program. While I provide a brief summary of the accomplishment of this year’s
winners, it’s my honor to introduce her, I would like her to please come forward to
receive the award. This year’s winner is Maddie Schwartz. Maddie has worked tirelessly to
improve the student experience at Carlson as a champion of inclusion and
mental health awareness. She stands out as a leader who never shied away from
uncomfortable conversations and starts with the assumption that the way we have
always done things in business school is ripe for a challenge. As you all know, the
Carlson School has three new guiding principles. Maddie, hello, always brings
those guiding principles to life. She believes in we before I all the time. She
became known as the mental health advocate in the school and resource for
her peers the entire week. In her personal statement, Maddie writes, “During
finals week my freshman year, I remember walking a handful of students
over to the Counseling Services to help them to fill their intake paperwork for
a counseling appointment. Seeing this impact on others enhanced my passion for
the small acts I choose to do in my daily life.”
Maddie continued as an advocate for inclusion and mental health throughout
the four years at Carlson School, working on the business board and the
annual One in Three mental health awareness event. Maddie also is a live
example of her second principle: work before reward. In her time at the Carlson
School, Maddie has served as a Carlson Ambassador, Carlson Consulting
Enterprise Associate, LeaderShape student program coordinator, all the work,
leadership minor intern, First-Year Leadership Institute Mentor, and
has just completed the elite Tom Burnett Leadership Program. She also found time
to study European business strategy for a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark, and
completed two consulting internships. All this work led her to the award. Because
of a third principle, why before how, Maddie says, she dreams of being a professor. She
has served as a research assistant for Professor Elizabeth Campbell in the
Department of Work and Organizations. For the past three and a half years,
she also sees the opportunity to co-teach courses in the Leadership Minor.
In a personal statement, she writes, “My nights have been late, my energy has been
high, and my passion is visible because I strongly believe in the Margaret Mead
quote, ‘A small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.'” Graduating today with the major in
marketing and a minor leadership, Maddie stands an excellent role model for all
of us. Those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Maddie know that
her humble demeanor, sincere interest in getting to know people as individuals,
and passion for positive change will take her far in life. Maddie is the one
who embodies “we before I.” Please join me in congratulating Maddie Schwartz as a 2019
winner. It’s now my pleasure to welcome our
ceremony student speaker Steve Vogel. Steve is graduating with honors today,
with majors in marketing and political science. He’s an accomplished student
leader in campus organizations and political campaign teams.
Steve, would you please join me here. Steven worked as a full-time campaign
manager for a mayoral candidate of Maplewood, Minnesota while balancing a
full course load. He served as a student representative for the Henry Clay Center
for Statesmanship National Bipartisan Conference. Steve is a founding member of
Citizen Student Movement, a student group that promotes grassroots change on
campus. He also served as a Public Achievement coach in the St. Paul school
system and led and sang in Seven Days A Cappella, the oldest A capella group on
campus. Steven has been described as someone who throws themselves fully into
everything he does. He’s a committed student leader and a friend with passion
for leading and impacting the lives of others. I’ve been told he won’t sing the
speech today. Please join me in welcoming year 2019 student commencement speaker
Steven Vogel. Thank you Raj.
I’m a little tall, so. First of all, it is a tremendous honor to be speaking in
front of you today. I continue to be amazed by the sheer talent and drive
exhibited by the Carlson School community. As graduates, we have been
supported countless times by family, friends, professors, advisors, staff. Please
join me in thanking them with a round of applause. As Carlson’s students, we’ve worked
extremely hard. We have bested even the most difficult
group projects, you know the one where someone insists on using Comic Sans for
the PowerPoint. We have weathered the famous Carlson curve, oh, sorry,
enhanced grading techniques. We have stood in line for hours for Panda
Express comfort food, because you just took an accounting test and you thought
GAAP was an outdated sweater in your closet. And we prioritize networking? Well,
let me tell you, orange chicken and I, we go way back. Case in point, it is no
secret that Carlson students work hard. It’s one of the main reasons why the
Carlson School of Management has such a good reputation across the country. And
at this point, our work ethic has pretty much solidified. So as we go out into the
work world, the big question is not will we work hard, but rather how will we
utilize that work ethic? Up until now, most of us have really been on a
standard course. You go to kindergarten, you learn how to take naps, you go to
middle school and you feel bad about yourself, you go to high school you have
to get used to grades, work, and extracurriculars all at the
same time. With college, you have some choices to where you go, but then it’s
more of the same. So up until now, a lot of us have faced a predetermined set of
challenges because we knew it would help get us here today, and I think we can all
agree it was so worth it. But now that we’re graduating, there are an infinite
number of paths we can take. We can work. We can go to grad school. We can start a
family. It’s an exciting time because the
possibilities are endless, yet it can be confusing which path we
should really take. And, in reality, and the parents and
professors already know this, there are no clear right answers. Now, there are
clear wrong life choices, like eating orange chicken every day for four years…
just the hypothetical. For the most part, you’ll generally be choosing between
comparable life paths, so my advice for you today
is that when you are faced with a major decision, you should never make that
decision on autopilot. Up until this point in our lives, most of us have been
on a similar path because we wanted to end up here. Today, you didn’t have to
think about what you were going to work on, because it was right in front of you.
You do your homework and you go to class, because that’s what everyone does. If I
continued that same logic of simply doing what everyone else is doing
because everyone else is doing it, I would miss out on so many other
opportunities. In other words, to get the most out of life, you must forge your own
path. This sentiment is particularly important with graduation today. Carlson
has a phenomenal job placement rate. Some of us have already accepted full-time
offers, complete with benefits, good salaries, some sick quarter zips, some
coozies perfect for game day, discounts at the local mini golf, car chargers with
not one, but two USB ports. I mean, what more could you want?
And these rewards come after years of planning. You work hard to get a good
internship junior year, which leads to a full-time offer and so on. If this is the
standard path, it’s a really good one. But I also know that Carlson students dream
big. From my very first Carlson class, Management 1001, I was blown away by the
passion exhibited by my peers. When we shared our motivations for enrolling in
Carlson, the vast majority envisioned business not as an end
to itself but as a force for good things, like community entrepreneurship, to
secure basic human needs, socially responsible investing, groundbreaking
market research, and so much more. All pursuits that require a vastly different
unique path that ultimately require following your own ideas rather than
matching with those before you have already done. Now remember, we’ve set
ourselves up for a great standard path. The decision to accept traditional
stable positions is an excellent rational choice. If that’s the best
decision for you, awesome! Godspeed. If not, that’s okay too. I myself
am in that category Neither is inherently right or wrong. The
key thing is to make sure you never make life decisions on autopilot. By making
your decisions deliberate rather than bygone conclusions, you can truly unlock
that best version of yourself. Now, it is impossible to know when or where you
should specifically step off the beaten path. I mean, leaving the beaten path
could mean anything to anyone. To me this past winter, it meant avoiding the fourth
street circulator at all costs, because I value my life. But it varies. You’ll know
that alternative path when you see it, because that dream inside of you will be
clamoring to become a reality. My junior year, I faced this dilemma.
I always enjoyed politics, and that year, I really wanted an internship in the
United States Senate, but I mean look around. I was in business school.
What you do your junior year is that you get a corporate internship with the
expectation that you’ll receive a full-time offer and so on. But it was my
counselor Chelsea, the best counselor for the record, who sat me down and said,
Steven it’s okay to be different. And as a result, I finally allowed myself
to explore a different path. That summer, I ended up working for senator Amy
Klobuchar, and it was a phenomenal summer
experience. And this single decision had forward reaching effects. I went on to
become the campaign manager for the mayor of Maplewood, who was re-elected
and appointed as head of the Metropolitan Council.
I also added, I also finally added my political science major that I had
always wanted to. And as a Carlson spy in CLA, I must say the rumors are true: they
are really jealous of our Air Pods. No seriously, I did my honors thesis on
this. No, but seriously, I can safely say that none of this would have happened if
I had been afraid to forge my own path. You see, there is a spark inside each and
every one of us regardless of one’s age or position. It’s that dream or passion
that fuels us even when it feels like we’re running on empty. It’s what allows
us to forge our own paths. So when you accept your current trajectory as
inevitable, when you give in to that autopilot mentality, you risk
extinguishing that spark. Listen to that inner voice. As Marie Curie, the first
person to ever win two Nobel prizes, once said, “We must believe that we are gifted
at something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” The
beauty in forging your own path is that it is just as applicable within
traditional career paths. As a new employee at a Fortune 500, it can be
incredibly intimidating. You might even feel the need to act overtly normal just
to fit in. But it’s not the normal people who are the most successful.
It’s the weirdos, the people who aren’t afraid to say their mind or forge their
own path, which means challenging the status quo sometimes. I mean, have you
seen Elon Musk’s Twitter. Love him or hate him,
the guy’s doing pretty well for himself. And the guy literally advocates
four flamethrowers in preparation of the zombie apocalypse. When you’re being your
true authentic self, not only are you able to work with a clearer mind, but
you’re also able to think of more creative, innovative solutions. These are
the people that have the most meaningful impact. So, it doesn’t matter what career
path you take. With any organization, we’re gonna need to pay our dues, and we
can’t materialize our dreams overnight. I mean, I’m just not going to become the
CEO of Panda Express overnight; it’s just not gonna happen. But we can make sure
that each decision is a conscious path towards that dream, even if we have to
create that path from scratch. We know that Carlson students have big dreams
and stellar work ethics, but it’s hard to connect the two. Think of your dreams as
a road map and your work ethic as a compass. That way, you’ll never get lost.
Congratulations to the Carlson School of Management class of 2019. You’ve earned
it. Thank you. Thank you, Steven, for reminding us to
forge our own paths. I always say dare to be different,
and to be a true true authentic selves. Great advice. So, at this point, we come to
what all of you been waiting for. We’ll begin the presentation of the degrees.
Will the candidates for The Bachelor of Science in Business degree
please start coming forward as directed by the marshals. I invite Regent Simonson
and Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program Raj Singh to join me at the
certificate table for the presentation of degrees. Elijah Schwan. Accepting Elijah’s diploma
on his behalf is his sister, Sophia. Stephen Vogel, Neha
Upadhyaya, Contessa Boorman, Christine Granskog, Carston Hernke, Matthew
Kohler-Reiser Ely Harel, Nicholas Anderson, Emily Waller, Kevin Mechelke, Matthew Rosen, Leo Hanneman, Cameron Tipping, Joseph Connor Ryan, Caitlyn Marie Holtz, Megan Lee Johnson, David Andris, Max Ye, Rongchang Wang, Dillon Rutton, Spencer Gressen, Adam Johnson, Brandon
Johnson, Miles Hussey, Charlie Ostrem, Cody Sultan, Michael Bloedow
Nathan Coleman, Alexis Leticia Miley, Kosei Pehling, Tiegan Brickson, Meggan Wong
Carlson, Caitlyn Merzbacher, Hannah McFarland, Mitchell Wagner, Madison Quinn
Anderson, Alexandra Schmeiden, Brady Dwayne Kafka, JB Nosko, Daria Kazak, Joshua
David Dikken, Bianca Stoesz, Jessica Bostrom, Shelby Vlaanderen John Haugan, Meghan Swanson, Suzanne Patten, Elizabeth Spier, Trevor Stansberry, Max Palmer, Marley
Applebaum, Evan Gustafson, Krista Marie Wigen, Alexander Daniel Bock, Brett Swannell, Samuel
Poehlmann, Eryka Mondry, Nate Wade Bormann, Audrey Lane, Willow Warell, Paige Reno, Katherine Clements, Jacob Edmundson, Austin Hop, Christina Rademacher, Eleanor Blanchfield, Madelyn Jesser, Kayla Jean Clark, Madison Schwartz, Cyndi Hua, Ricky Suarez, Jason Ung, Matt McGraw, Leah Marie Kutsch, Noah
Friedenberg, Austin Kelly, Eric Button, Derek Li, Dong Bui, Shravan Panneer, Benjamin Nelson, Cole
Leistikow, Alexis Studler, Bryce Rasmussen, Travis Johnson, Joseph Wuertz, Meagan Pass, Michaela Birchmeier, Melissa
Markay, William Wu, Daniel Smith, Brent Unowsky, Luoran Zhang, Monica
Tantalean, Samantha Justine Shetka, Emily Heslin, Emily Peterson, Darian
Romanko, Valerie White, Riley Lytle, Breanna Kay Massie, Britta
Lynn Savre, Justine Weber, Sarah Miller, Michael Moran Wessels, Christopher
Reardon, Thomas Blomgren, Lauren Rurik, Jessica Rislove, Joseph Reisman, Alexander Satrang, Catherine Scott, Makda Biniam, Maddie Wheaton, Madeline
Mantych, Elena Turbenson, Grace Zangel, Megan
Israel, Kaitlin Smith, Kaley Thorn, Shannon Bayne, Danielle Nelson, Kailyn Jaye
Roos Warne, Katey Lace, Maryam Irfanullah, Anissa Salemohamed, Ayushi Ghoshal, Vinayak Bharadwaj, Zakir
Omar, Patrick Murphy, Qian Chen, Heather Schwei, Kaitlyn Ho, Luke Nelson, Vincent Ruud, Dylan Motto, Hayden Maxfield, Josh Macho, D’Andre Cordell Brecto, Jacob Brua, Kendra Mummah, Sydney Spokane, Kelly Lindell
Izatt, Margaret Goossens, Ivy Anh Thu Dang, Megan Kasparek, Michael Raymond Einig, Madison Laird, Sean Stevens, Jillian Nowry, Madison Gagliardi, Nicole Stenbeck, Madison Ruesink, Jake Larson, Lucas
Elias, Riley Paro, Michael Gilbert, Bailey Cox, James Puissant, Joshua James Huninghake, James Berg, Tou
Vue, Youssef Massoud, Valentina Truong-Ferreira, Chelsea
Rose Montgomery, Efthimios Theodorakakos, Matthew Traeger, Barbara Miller, Allison
Dugan, Alan LeBlang, Madison Mountain, Hannah Froyum, Hannah
Anderson, Hannah Behnken, Madison Norris, Jensen Muench, Katherine Klein, Rachel Jensen, Mollie Deegan, Sarah Bimberg, Kyle Samera, Jack Murphy, Richard Kamrud, Ryan Joseph
Hennen, Madison Raley, Bekah Rich, Katherine Pursley, Whitney Wheelock, Cara
Garfield, Susan Hannah Thompson, Zachary Samuel Sousek, Ky Schmidt, Michael O’Hagan, John Peschel, Jonathan
Huerd, Danielle Madson, Eleanore Swanstrom, Katherine
Lin, Tang Lingxi, Tiffany Yen, Peggy Yen, Lu Jiahui, Liu Jiayun, Cheng Yangyi, Zhang Yadong, Lauren Eileen Kelly, Julia Louise
Meckes, Sukhwinder Kaur, Ally Nissen, Olivia Rud, Colton Beebe, Matthew Lillis, Brett Van
Pelt, Brandon Goetz, Charlie Juell, Mitchell Wanous, Adam Lipps, Cameron
Sjolander, Peter Joseph Zindler, Cody Beckman, Zeeshawn Abid, Khalid Hammami, Shivan Jain, Haris Hussain, Jacob Bratton, Gregory Cromar, Reed
Morehouse, Jack Manning, Joseph Hebeisen, Devyn Ptacek, Bridget Nath, Olivia Graskewicz, Emily Everson, Ashley Egeland, Abigail Smits, Taylor
Kinning, Emily McCluskey, Eliza Halverson, Meghan Keefe, Ryan Poehler, Brittany Ahonen, Brina Trapp, Claudia Schuster, Tyson Reinke, Jayce Corlett, Landon Walters, Benjamin
Bathke, Morgan Justus, Charles Seidel, Jack Cridelich, Alec Jaeschke, Olivia Vande
Hei, Benjamin Anderson, Delaney Renee Graves, Jamie Johnson, Hallie Fousek, Megan Burns, Julia Thistle, Mike Gaines, Andrew Smith, Megan Kovacs, Taylor Laumeyer, Victoria Rose Tompkins, Junie Varin, Valerie Wollman, Sage Anderson-
Lantz, Grace Elizabeth Lenzmeier, Lauren Williams, Keely Miller, Olivia Simon, Molly Laughlin, Catherine Atkins, Sierra
Chase, Madeline Flom, Kassandra Murawski, Luo
Yafang, Meng Shuang, Li Jinze, Andrew
Valerius, Grant DeMars, Maxwell Thomas Struve, Charles Hamilton, Jack Boulia, Tyler Dutkowski, Kyle Arms, Sean O’Brien, Drew Sanda, Griffin Johnston, Nicholas Langevin,
Nicholas Schwartz, Emily Thompson, Katherine Swenson, Lydia Hanna, Srikalyani Akurati, Morgan Pink, Sarah Hallen, Sydney Wrobel, Jack Anthony Nermyr, Saawan Patel, Alex Enck, Michael Maga, Madison Nelson, Brett Kleist, Rijal Malik, David Bock, Andrew Carlson, Elliott James
Smallidge, Clayton Adamson, Aleah Alexandria Haworth, Haley Dahl, Molly Walker, Hannah Paulsen,
Mari Kamitani, Melissa Deng, Madelyn Yvonne Carpentier. Emmit Carpenter, Kelly Pannek, Stephen Schultz, Alanna Pundsack, Lucas Haefner, Martin Falciner, Connor Thielfoldt, Daniel
Lee, Van Vu, Matthew Psick, Wyatt Shaw, David Shrader, Matthew Heldt, Brock Pasternak, Daniel Tobon, Adam Fuda, Halle Tousignant, Brendan Buhler, Lauren Nordvold, Shane Judge, Colin Fox, Kellen Campbell, Samuel Mayerchak, Brice Bullock Michka, Tony Perrault, Michael
Breber, Owen Johnson, Joseph Jacobson, Joe Deters, David Laird, Timothy James
Voigt, Jeffrey Park, Tanner Hofschulte, Matt Sandbulte, Kyle Rud, Connor Greguson, Maverick Manzke, Nicholas Kiecker, Melissa Truong, Zhou Yifan, Jennifer Duong, Shuet Yen Wong, Tyler
Janousek, Jake Haubrich, Jack Broderius, Halle
Knutson, Rachel Angela Salem, Tia Marie San Agustin, Anne Howard, Maiya Cady, Kaitlyn Dick, Rebecca Delahunt, Julia Westling, Ian
Thompson, Soroosh Tabatabaee-Zavareh, Kjetil
Seefelt, Justin White, Kyle Johnson, Jack Lamers, Emalee Larson, Zachariah Dombeck, Colin Willer, Nils Akesson, Daniel
Waddell, William Zastrow, Alex Parke, Abigail Byerkebek, Jennifer Olson, Kriti Nivsarkar, Emma
Weikum, Jenny Zheng, Brendan Wise, Myanh Nguyen, Jennifer Nguyen, Joey Mydra, Chance Nguyen, Alec Anderson, Matt Anderson, Joe Waldvogel, Christopher Kettler, Michael Abegglen, Lucas Neusen, William Nelson, Sam Kastner, John Molitor, Joseph Luedtke, William Duda, Nash Christian Bauer, Darian
Woller, Thomas Koop, Ryan Baskfield, Andy Aguilar, Alexander Schull, Jack Francis
Vorlicky, Maria Perez, Erin O’Driscoll, Marissa Posl, Hannah Max, Kristinn Thorsteinson, Cole Hennings, Mitchell Sorensen, Isabel Fox, Elaina Anderson, Kendall Huber, Natalie
Breckner, Lindsey Hoeppner, Maria Gleason, Julienne Eckman, Elise Hartwig, Peter Warcup, Joshua Meyer, Charlie Smith, Matthew Tafesse, Jacob Bryant
Hein, Qi Ziang, Jiang Hongzheng, Cao Guangmu, Zhou Yifan, David Wetterstrom, Heather Porter, Teresa
Dang, Chanelle Mae Logan, Maxwell Goldberger, Spencer Wajnert,
Matthew Rowley, Elizabeth Sundet, Alissa Larson, Grace
Wilson, Stephani Klapperich, Darby Quast, Janae Neuenschwander, Allie Coughlin, Nicole Wahlin, Trevor Gifft, Dylan Jacob Walter Kocken, Kyle Mackey, Jack Mugford, Tyler Johnson, Ben Davidson,
Alec MacNab, David Mielke, Mazen Hammad, Wang Ziqi,
Qian Qinyue, Wu Wenquing, Han Yuwei, Tang Dongqi, Tan
Chujun, Zeng Dehui, Fu Yanting, Shelby Lloyd, Li Donglin, Annika Nelson, Carmen
Nusbaum, Paige Onoyan, Annika Clouse, Ashley Taylor, Benjamin Krelitz, Sam Kaminsky, Mark Hogan, Jeremy Duncan
Lane Jr., Emmanuel Elkhoury, Ian Schrup, Noah Brod Farber, Joseph Kaufman, Nathan Bailey, Noah LeVoir, Mark Mikhail, Tyler Larson, Erik Jansa, Kristopher Mark Egan, Theodore Ko, Morgan Fehrs, Morgan Williams, Annabelle
Paulik, Nicholas Misselt, Maxwell Kim, Peter Lewandowski, Justin Reeves,
Emil Cienik, Joshua Kraemer, Lauren Rudeen, Melissa Luther, Randy Michael Bialcik Jr., Jack
McDonough, Victoria Louise Anderson, Hunter Link, Breanna Ammerman, Brittani Patten, Nicolette Smerillo, Alisa Hong, Grant Franke, Molly Dalton Hendricks, Melissa Lee, Frank
Haney, Heather Nicole Ambre, Noel Vierra, Jessica Shorba, Thomas Modec III,
Taylor Cranfield, Kaitlyn Demartelaere, Sarah Daily, Lucas Bagno, Charles Gideon, William DeLaRoche, Marshall Heitkamp, Zachary Hill, Anthony Johnson, Jacob Wetterstrom, Andrew Scott Krug, Daniel Joseph Van Eyll, Malik
Deandre Mordecai Bowen, Alexandru Felea, Jeremy Alston, Nathan
Dean, Jordan Starks, Beatriz Olivares Alonso, Edward Neepaye, Amara Anyamele, Leticia
Wamulumba, Adetoun Olatundun Olateju, Brittany Zastrow, Isabella Thor, Chue Lee, Penkeng K Yang, Nanci Chen, Zoe Lim, Michael Husnik, Thomas
Wiederrecht, Jessica Lohse, Jack Niewold, Justin
Ehrenhofer, Jacob Yokubonis, Cameron McManus, Angela Harkman, Austin Toy, Eric
Kopen, Frank Seiler, Noelle Langworthy, Grace Charpentier, Wenjing Shan, Luke
O’Neill, Jacob Strinden, Hanna Hailgiorgis, Suad Moosa, Jasmine Brown, Connor Foorbrook, Evan Christenson, Brady Reagan, Zayaan Wasif, Chiaki Masuda, Bowdy Piyasinchai, Yasmin
Kamilia Lokman Hakim, Gi Soo Hwang, Hongzheng Daniel Jiang, Ji Won Noh, Chanhee
Lee, Minhyeon Kang, Kylie Kim, Je Ho Yeon, Jangwoo James Cho,
Hyeongjoo Lee, Won Seok Lee, Calvin Johnson, Jason Swan, Anton Berman, Connor McGrew, Ryan Starr, Samuel Holdahl, William Langer, Brodie Roehrig, Ryan Haala, Chen Neo, Thalia
Marcella, Dana Gunawan Sia, Phuong-Mai Dang, Tram Vu, Timothy Levens, Sungho Sohn, Emilie Moeller, Elizabeth Cannon, Kaitlyn
Ewine, Jennifer Jannaro, Allie Stellpflug, Kayla Kahl, Mary Reilly, Paige Rome, Faith
Alexandra Bradt, Nisarg Gandhi, Ben Thompson, Max Webb, Brendan
Goethal, Anthony Magtibay Becker, Jason Koopman, Camila Vargas, Justin Levin, Josip
Krstanovic, Marino Alpeza, Ryan Ylitalo, Alex Beversdorf, Edward Rojas, John
Cuevas-Gonzalez, William Vanderbilt, John Roberge, Talha Zafar Ahmed, Shirin
Fatima, Hamdi Abdi, Anika Marie Hauck, Emma Weldon, Andrea Carline, Yasaman Rajaeian, Brady
Anderson, Jacob DeCaro, Evan Little, Nicolas Reis, John Oberst, Cole Flander, Alec Wosepka, Congratulations again to all of you on
your accomplishments that takes you from being students of the Carlson School of
Management to alumni. And here to welcome you into our alumni family is Brian
Milovich, president of the Carlson School Alumni Board. Brian is a 2000 BSB
alum, headed west after his commencement to start his career at Wells Fargo. He
earned his MBA at Berkeley’s Hass School, and then joined a real estate private
equity company in 2010. He moved to Calvera Partners, where he’s a Managing
Principal. Despite being located nearly 2,000 miles away,
Brian remained closely connected to campus. He was a passionate advocate for
our school, helped countless students and recent grads start and build their
careers, and he was a driving force behind the success of our San
Francisco Bay Area chapter. Brian truly is a gold standard for Golden Gopher
alumni. We are thrilled that Brian, like many of our graduates, recently
boomeranged home to Minnesota. Here, he has continued to contribute to our
success by serving on the Alumni Board and on our Board of Overseers. Ladies and
gentlemen, graduating class of 2019, please join me in welcoming Brian Milovich. Graduates, congratulations, and welcome to
your Carlson school alumni community. Like you, your alumni community is unique,
it’s energetic, and it’s well positioned for success. As you know, 2019 marks the
100th anniversary of the founding of the Carlson School. From the first graduating
class of 14 students, to more than 55,000 alumni worldwide today, you are certainly
part of a thriving Carlson School alumni base. As we celebrate the centennial all
year long, it gives us a chance to reflect on our connections. Connections
to the past, to tomorrow, to innovation, to the world around us, and connections to
one another. You know the Carlson School has our alumni to thank for playing such
a major role in the success of the the program over the first 100 years, and
the centennial events around the world are celebrating you. Those of you who are
staying in the Twin Cities after graduation or who just want to come back
for a good party, are all invited to attend an entire weekend of centennial
festivities. This fall, it all starts with a huge celebration on the field of US
Bank Stadium on Friday night, September 13th, followed by Saturday at the Gopher
football game, a Carlson tailgate on Saturday, the 14th. Now, if you’re one of
the many and growing group of students who aren’t staying local and are moving
across the country or even the world to pursue exciting career opportunities,
don’t worry. There are centennial events throughout the year at major cities near
you. Now although the Centennial is a great excuse to stay connected in the
short term, we want you to stay connected for the long term. So what does that mean?
Well, that includes participating in the mentorship program, coming back on campus
and speaking in a classroom. It’s even grabbing coffee with the fellow alum
who’s interested in your career path. And yes, that even counts. If
you share and like the social media post that Carlson puts out, the way you
connect with Carlson will change over time, but know that we want and we are
depending on you to stay engaged. So what parts you want to play in the next 100
years of the Carlson school, how will you stay connected and ensure that future
students have the same, if not better, opportunities than you, you know, your
relationship with the Carlson School does not end today at graduation. In fact,
it’s just getting started, and I’m personally excited to see how you will
leave a lasting mark on our community. So on behalf of Carlson School alumni
worldwide, again, let me say welcome and congratulations. Thank you. Thank you, Brian, for encouraging our
graduates to stay connected to the Carlson School for the long term, and
felt after telling us about the many ways we can engage with the school to
ensure that our current and future Carlson School students have the same
opportunities that all of you have. And we could not create the kind of
transformative experiences that I know each and every one of you has had
without the help of our alumni community over the last 100 years, or in the next
100 years. So at this time, I come, we come to the most important part of this
ceremony, and I would like to invite Regent Randy Simonson to the podium for
the Conferral of Degrees. Will all degree candidates please rise. Regent Simonson, on behalf of the
Faculty of the Carlson School of Management, I present to you the Carlson
School of Management’s undergraduate class of 2019. Dean Zaheer,
Thank you for inviting me here today. On behalf of the University of Minnesota
Board of Regents, I’m honored to preside at this commencement. To the graduates, I
extend congratulations. We are here today to not only celebrate your academic
accomplishments, but also your potential to make a positive difference in the
next stage of your lives. You’ll be contributing to your communities, to the
state of Minnesota, the nation, and the world. Upon the recommendation of the
faculty and by the authority of the Regents, I now confer upon you the
degrees for which you have been qualified. Congratulations! Let’s
acknowledge their achievements. Thank you, Regent Simonson, and now class
of 2019, and you just happen to be also the 100th graduating class of the
Carlson School of Management. If you haven’t yet moved your tassel, let me
invite you to do so, moving it from the right to the left to declare to the
world that you’re now a graduate of the Carlson School of Management of the
University of Minnesota. So congratulations to all the graduates
and to all of the people who have helped in getting them to this place in their
lives. Now, will everyone, please, everyone who can, please rise and join Max Palmer,
BSB class of 2019, as he leads us in singing “Hail Minnesota!” The words are on
page 28 in your program. Afterward, please be seated until the graduates and
faculty have completely recessed out of the arena. I thank all of you for coming
today. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Carlson school, I extend our
warmest congratulations to each and every one of you. Thank you. Minnesota, hail to thee!
Hail to thee our college dear!
Thy light shall ever be A beacon bright and clear! Thy sons and daughters true
Will proclaim thee near and far. They will guard thy fame, and adore thy name; Thou shalt be their Northern Star!

Michael Martin

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