Graduation Day, Part 2: Class Gift raises the bar

Ryan presents Dean Sheppard with Class Gift. Note: This is also NOT the correct wearing of the hood.

After the Welcome speech by Associate Dean Gallagher, and the presentation of the Excellence in Teaching Awards by Ray, it was time to find out whether the 2010d CCMBA class could take the throne as having the highest participation in giving.

With $22,031 pledged (before company-matching) and 82% participation, the answer was an emphatic “YES!”, as we beat the previous record of 76% participation from the other 2010 CCMBA graduating class.  By my unofficial math, that represents an average gift of $235 per person, which may not seem a lot until you realize each classmate has already given a six-figure “gift” to Fuqua in the past 24 months!

After receipt of the big game show check, Dean Sheppard thanked us all for our contribution, and relayed how important donations are in keeping Fuqua at the cutting edge of business education and leadership.  As part of the thank you remarks, Dean Sheppard highlighted how our class, the first of the revamped CCMBA program, was conceptualized and developed using the same sort of donations from those that have graduated before us.

To paraphrase the Dean, “Fantastic work Ryan…I’ve never seen someone who could twist arms so successfully, via EMAIL no less!”


Graduation Day, Part 1: Pomp and Circumstance

Pre-ceremony. Note: This is NOT the correct way to wear the hood.

As I referenced in a prior post, Graduation started about 1:00 p.m., when all graduates were due at Cameron to get organized.  I use the word organized very loosely, as it was clear that very few people (including myself) read the directions to anything other than the time and general location!  From how to properly align the detached hood to where to meet at what time, CCMBA’ers were wandering around like it was Day 1 in London.

After taking a few pictures at the front of the stage with my Mom and Wife, I wandered around on the floor of Cameron glad-handing everyone who I didn’t catch up with at Bull McCabe’s the night before.  Once I realized that nearly all 120 of us graduates were going to be in attendance, it was tough not to run around and try and talk to every.single.person before the ceremony.  But alas, 1:45 p.m. arrived quickly, so it was time to walk up to the ‘Hall of Honor’.

In many ways, it was strange to be in the ‘Hall of Honor’.  First, the Hall of Honor represents many years of Duke tradition, but it’s the basketball tradition.  So on one hand, there was the realization that when each of us walked across the stage, we’d be part of something much bigger than ourselves as part of the Duke family.  On the other hand, who could pay attention to the pomp and circumstance of graduation when looking at all of the great student-athletes featured on the different pillars.  (I don’t want to jinx it for those guys, but I swear there were two empty pillars there just waiting for Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith…)

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