Dean Sally Blount encourages graduates to continue to ‘think bravely’ and transform the world
Dean Sally Blount
set a theme of transformation June 9 when 70 graduates of the Kellogg Executive MBA Program
stepped out of Alice Millar Chapel charged with a mission “to take a stand in the world.”
Family and friends applauded as the graduates received their diplomas and joined a growing roster of distinguished Kellogg alumni. The group included the Evanston-based cohort EMP-85, as well as several graduates of Kellogg’s joint degree programs with partner schools overseas: the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Dean Blount’s opening remarks included reflections on the “amazing transformations” that have taken place in the first decade — from the 2008 stock market crash to the global Euro crisis to technological innovations such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
And while the future is wide open and full of possibilities, Blount said one thing Kellogg graduates could count on is being equipped through their coursework with the ability to find answers in ways that are passionate, collaborative and world changing.
“Being a Kellogg graduate is being a leader who raises the status of a room when you walk in, and not just the status of yourself,” she said, reminding them to acknowledge how much luck is involved in being a leader and being in a position to impact change. “So go out, thrive, and raise the status of every room you walk into.”
Character is key
Kellogg alum Joseph M. DePinto ’99, president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc., followed Blount’s introduction with a convocation address that focused on the importance of character — a quality he defined as being “honest, trustworthy, committed and held accountable.”
“It is who we are that allows us to win the hearts and minds of those around us,” he said, asking graduates to remember one person who influenced them or served as a role model in their lives. “It is the only way to gain true influence and the only way to earn the right to lead.”
As he closed his remarks, he challenged the new crop of alums to not only remember what mentors have done for them, but what they expect in return as they go out and lead in the world. Colleagues for life
Graduating EMP-85 student Joshua Redstone was chosen by his classmates to lead the student address. In addition to commenting on the deep bonds of friendship formed in the program, Redstone praised the caliber of his colleagues.
“If you want advice on how to run a gold mine in Africa, we’ve got somebody to help you out,” he said, going on to list other examples of the wide diversity and talent represented in this year’s graduating class.
Executive MBA students also recognized two Kellogg faculty members — Artur Raviv and Sergio Rebelo — with top professor awards at the ceremony.
In keeping with tradition, EMBA graduates gave back to Kellogg. Only this year, rather than a series of class gifts, Kellogg graduates pooled together for a Class of 2012 gift of nearly $130,000.