Now that’s what you call an opening act.
To accommodate its growing size, the A. B. Freeman School of Business moved its diploma ceremony to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this year, where it immediately followed the university’s spectacular unified commencement ceremony. For business graduates and their guests, the move enabled them to witness what was surely one of the most memorable graduation ceremonies in Tulane history. The Dalai Lama delivered Tulane’s commencement address this year to a rapturous response, and the ceremony also featured special musical performances from honorary degree recipients Dr. John and Allen Toussaint. Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize winner and 19th U.S. Poet Laureate, was also on hand to receive an honorary degree.
With that exhilarating introduction, the Freeman School took to the stage and got down to business, with Dean Ira Solomon awarding 717 diplomas to new graduates of the A. B. Freeman School of Business. That number includes 82 Master of Accounting degrees, 108 Master of Business Administration degrees, 137 Master of Finance degrees, 14 Master of Global Management degrees, 39 Master of Management degrees, 29 Master of Management in Energy degrees, and one Doctor of Philosophy degree. The number also includes 307 Bachelor of Science in Management degrees conferred as part of the Tulane-Newcomb College undergraduate diploma ceremony.
Aaron P. Coulon (BSM ’13) received the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the undergraduate student with the highest cumulative GPA, and Clifford T. Harlan (MBA ’13) received the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the MBA graduate with the highest cumulative GPA. In addition, business graduates Nicole M. Munsey (MBA ’13), Lauren A. Nelson (MBA ’13) and Albin J. Soares (MBA ’13) received the Tulane 34 Award, which recognizes students from across the university for their academic achievements, student leadership and community service.
David A. Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, delivered the charge to graduates for the Freeman School. Wilson, a member of the Business School Council, encouraged graduates to use their earnings to make the world a better place, to maintain their sense of humor and to value the unique contributions of everyone they come in contact with. He closed with a reference to the oath young Athenians were asked to take more than 2,500 years ago – “We will transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
“Your Tulane degree will open doors that you did not even know where there for you,” Wilson said. “Take the talent, the education and the opportunity that you have been given and make this world greater, better and more beautiful than it is today.”
To see more photos from this year’s graduate diploma ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.