the courage to lead'
commencement ceremonies underscore the optimism and responsibility
required by leaders
Deborah Leigh Wood
speaker W. James McNerney, chairman and CEO of 3M, delivered
solid counsel to the Kellogg School's full- and part-time
graduating classes as they rejoin the business world or, as
newly conferred PhDs, continue in academia.
a career is not a straight line from A to B, so don't try
to plan it out that way," McNerney told graduates at the 2004
commencement ceremony on June 19 at Northwestern University's
Welsh-Ryan Arena. Instead, he said, "capture a mosaic of experiences.
Get into a job where you lead and follow ... [where you] are
the mentor and the mentored."
© Nathan Mandell
Allan "Bud" Selig
© Nathan Mandell
W. James McNerney
1,030 students received master of business administration,
doctor of philosophy or joint master's degrees in business
and another discipline.
on the recent spate of corporate scandals, McNerney advised
graduates to "fight to make sure the values you bring to work
are the ones you use at work. The tragedy is that some of
today's leaders are fundamentally good people who can't stand
also spoke about the importance of cultivating a good work
ethic. "Have the courage to lead and the courage to fail,"
School Dean Dipak C. Jain said he felt especially connected
to the 2004 class, because it is the first admitted under
his deanship. His speech emphasized cultivating a positive
mental perspective, even when faced by challenges that might
set others back.
McKeon, 2004 L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year and senior
lecturer in the Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences
(MEDS), showed in his address that he's a living example of
someone who took the approach advocated by Dean Jain. After
receiving his PhD in engineering-economics systems and being
rejected by several engineering and economics institutions,
McKeon applied "in desperation" to the top 20 business schools
in the United States. He was hired by the Kellogg School.
end of my one-year contract, a number of students wrote letters
to keep me here," he said, and the administration agreed.
McKeon is now in his ninth year at the Kellogg School, where
he has consistently been a finalist for the Lavengood award.
earlier, on June 12, Kellogg also celebrated the commencement
of its latest Executive MBA Program (EMP) students. The ceremony
took place in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Evanston
|© Evanston Photographic
For David G. Napier '04, right, commencement included
carrying on a long family tradition by wearing a gown
that has been passed down over several generations in
its 94-year history. Before David, 17 other family members
donned the gown as they received 24 college degrees at
16 different colleges. Their names are shown sewn into
the gown, held by David's stepfather Byron Brooks.
completing two years of study, the classes of EMP-56 and EMP-57
received diplomas. EMP students continue their professional
careers while enrolled in the Kellogg program.
Jain offered the 143 graduating executives a challenge to
remain optimistic in their work and lives, taking the responsibility
for their own happiness and success. Keynote speaker Allan
"Bud" Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, spoke
in a similar vein.
to be the next Joe DiMaggio, but I couldn't hit a curveball,"
Selig said. So instead, the Milwaukee native turned his love
of the game into a four-decade career in baseball management.
baseball as a metaphor for life, Selig encouraged the EMP
graduates to "dare to dream, sacrifice and accept social responsibility."