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Robert Eckert '77, former CEO of Mattel, opened the second day of CIM Week with a keynote speech that challenged students to make business a source of good.

Robert Eckert '77, former CEO of Mattel, opened the second day of CIM Week with a keynote speech that challenged students to make business a source of good.

The future starts now

‘Make us proud,’ former Mattel CEO Robert Eckert ’77 urges the Class of 2014

By Daniel P. Smith

9/7/2012 - Robert Eckert ’77 spoke to Kellogg’s entering class from the future.

The retired Mattel CEO fast-tracked the more than 650 incoming full-time students to June 20, 2014 — the date the group is slated to graduate. He told students they would succeed in business and implored them to embrace Kellogg’s values as they navigated their careers.

“Business builds people, lifts people and builds a brighter future. … Stand for good and do the right thing,” said Eckert, who sported a cap and a purple graduation gown to underline his point. “Make us proud.”

Eckert’s ovation-generating keynote presentation on Sept. 5 at the Jacobs Center opened the second day of CIM (Complete Immersion in Management) Week, the five-day orientation program that initiates incoming full-time students into the Kellogg culture.

A two-year adventure
Eckert’s spirited hour-long program reminded incoming students of the life-changing adventure they have now begun at Kellogg.

Over the coming two years, Eckert said, the students would gain an understanding of business fundamentals and the global economy. They would also be challenged to consider how they will make business a source of good.

“You have two years in front of you, and you have a good host,” Eckert concluded. “Welcome to Kellogg, where thinking bravely isn’t required, but demanded.”

Kellogg Dean Sally Blount called Eckert, who rescued Mattel from its early 21st- century struggles while building community goodwill, “a leader who truly exemplifies Kellogg’s values.”

Initiation into Kellogg culture
The annual CIM Week activities familiarized incoming students with each other, the Kellogg adminstration and school resources. They also celebrated the Kellogg cornerstones of collaboration, bold thinking and outreach.

Among CIM Week’s highlights:

  • Community Impact Day on Sept. 6, during which students traveled to sites throughout Evanston to build sustainable gardens

  • “Glocal,” a lunchtime program at the James L. Allen Center, featuring meals that celebrated Kellogg’s ethnic diversity

  • CIM Showcase, the culmination of CIM Week activities on Sept. 8, featuring skits by each of the eight student sections
Daniel Palacios ’13, a member of the CIM executive team, hoped the incoming students gained confidence that the coming two years would be the most rewarding of their lives.
“To be at Kellogg means teamwork, passion and fun,” Palacios said. “I hope all the new students here begin to build their networks at Kellogg and have an appreciation for how that network spreads into the world.”

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