Quinlan School of Business: 2021 Commencement
>> DEAN KEVIN STEVENS: Hello. I'm Kevin Stevens, Dean of the Quinlan School of Business. On behalf of the entire Quinlan community, I am delighted to welcome you to our celebration of the class of 2021. I would especially like to welcome and thank our featured student speakers, Lindsey McKaig and Joshua Nance, for joining us here today. Thank you too to all those who have worked behind the scenes to orchestrate Loyola's commencement celebrations. Graduates, let me begin with a big congratulations.
You have completed your degrees and grown as people and as professionals, even in the midst of a pandemic. You have written business plans and marketing plans, even as you logged into many of your classes instead of coming to campus. You have developed skills, insights, and a moral compass that will be more valuable than ever in a world and economy trying to recover from the pandemic. I am so proud that you are a part of the Loyola family. You may have heard me say before that some of my closest friends today are a group I met when I was a Loyola undergraduate fifty years ago. We have remained friends for so many years because we share a common ethos and values, as well as a love for books.
Your classmates, friends, and fellow alumni will be there for you too, over the course of your life. Stay in touch with them and stay in touch with Quinlan. Our faculty and staff would love to know how you are doing.
Another way to stay connected is to join our networking and mentoring program which is called Loyola Mentors. It will mean so much to the Quinlan students who follow you to be able to receive guidance and insights from alumni like you. And Loyola mentors is a great opportunity to continue to grow your own Quinlan network as you continue in your career.
Before I wrap up, I have to thank all the families and friends of our graduates. Thank you for trusting Loyola to take good care of them, even as the traditional college experience was disrupted by COVID. We are so proud of all they have accomplished and we are thrilled by the bright future ahead of them, and I know you are too. Let me end with a challenge to our graduates. Continue to do well and continue to do good.
Business, as well as each of you personally, has an important role to play in creating a better world. Congratulations again to the Class of 2021. I am thrilled to now turn the program over to our students. We'll be hearing first from our two student speakers. Lindsay McKaig is receiving her Bachelor of Business Administration Information Systems.
Joshua Nance is receiving his Master of Business Administration. After their remarks, we'll also hear from five other members of the class of 2021, Irene Keselman, Kristin Naling, Brady Morris, Lisa Portanova, and Jacque Stefanic. I now turn the program over to Lindsay. >> LINDSAY MCKAIG: Thank you, Dean Stevens. My Loyolan journey began when I was fourteen years old. It was my first Spring Break of high school and I was living it up.
Well, really I was with my family, traveling across the East Coast and Midwest of the United States, all six of us packed in a rented red minivan, going on college visits for my older sister. Before we arrived in Chicago, my family and I must've toured fourteen different campuses already. If I heard "I'm going to walk backwards, so let me know if I'm going to run into anything," one more time from an eager, super smiley tour guide, I was officially going to lose my mind. And then, the metamorphic, extraordinary part of the story. The tale as old as time.
The answer to the question, why did you choose Loyola, Lindsay, that I've been truthfully giving throughout these last four years. The answer? My first time visiting the campus, something clicked. Something told my high school freshman self, loud and clear, this is the place for you. This is your place. And, as I have continued saying for the past four years, thank God that I listened to that something. As a student, I have described Loyola as the happiest place on Earth, better than Disney World, and my favorite place in the whole universe.
I have been asked numerous times if I get paid by the university to speak so highly of it. And unfortunately, monetary payment was never part of the deal. Nonetheless, I truly meant all the compliments I was giving, and continue to give, to my school, Loyola University Chicago.
What makes Loyola so remarkable? Was it the four months I spent abroad at the John Felice Rome Center? Was it the unbelievably vibrant student section at each basketball game? And yes, I attended them all when I could, and I wish I could have seen the 2021 team play in person. What a remarkable year they have had. Was it the way I saw students holding doors for others, or chasing after someone else to return the mitten they unknowingly dropped behind them in the snow? Was it the way Professor Russel Rhoads gave an impromptu tour to my younger sister and her friend simply because we ran into him on campus? Or was it the way that, somehow, everyone knows everyone, or at least knows their roommate? Yes, all of these things are what make Loyola the best place in the world. But what makes Loyola remarkable can be explained by a quote that is only visible if you're sitting on the Schreiber Steps, the place where I'd eat my tofu plate from LU's each afternoon between classes. This quote states that "A Jesuit Education shows you how to give back to others and how to be an ethical person and still succeed at what you do."
Loyola Chicago is remarkable because it fulfills this quote. It delivers on this promise that it makes to its students. Specifically as a Quinlan student, I learned how to use Microsoft Excel pivot tables from Professor Carolyn Kmet, how to construct the perfect balance sheet from Professor Kenton Foutty, who also told us that once you're my student, you're always my student, and offered his help for us in the future.
Additionally, Professor Amy Kyhos explained why understanding different personalities can be used to motivate and unite members of a group. But I also learned ethics, morals, and how to look out for others in all of my courses. My accounting classes would speak about environmental sustainability. My information system courses would discuss how to fairly and kindly treat future employees. The Quinlan School of Business did not just teach me how to be a good, successful businessperson.
It taught me how to be a good person. If you saw me on campus any semester before the pandemic that began in Spring 2020, you would absolutely see a girl running from class to class or running late to a sorority event or off to a Christian Life Community Council meeting, or speed walking to my shift at the Loyola Preschool, books in her hands and a fifty-pound backpack on her shoulders. But I am thankful for the time I've been able to reflect during my final two semesters at Loyola.
I spent my first three years at Loyola building the perfect college experience, and now, during my fourth and final year, I've gotten to sit back and be grateful for all that I have built. The people at Loyola really are some of the brightest, kindest, funniest people you will ever meet. The professors really do care. The staff at Damen Dining really mean the bright smile they give to you each morning you go to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch. There are plenty of places to study marketing or finance or information systems, but here at Loyola you get a little more.
More professors who actually remember your name, more genuine friendships, more diverse opportunities, more smiles while walking through the Damen Student Center, more care for the greater world, more meaning, more appreciation for the space that you take up in the world and the duty you have to improve it. My Loyolan Journey began when I was fourteen years old but I know that I will continue to give back to others and still succeed at what I do long after I leave campus. I know that my Loyolan Journey will continue with me wherever I go, wherever next I decide to set the world on fire. I would now like to introduce Joshua Nance who is receiving a degree in Masters of Business Administration and who will share some remarks on behalf of the Quinlan graduate student community. >> JOSHUA NANCE: Thank you, Lindsay.
Hello, Class of 2021. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to speak in front of you all today. My name is Joshua Nance and while this may not be the graduation of our dreams, I for one am excited to virtually be here with you celebrating this momentous occasion.
The Class of 2021 is a special class as our resilience was tested with the abrupt transformation of our educational system as we were thrust into online learning within the last half of our program. As adults, we accepted the challenge head on and embraced the change, but what we did not know was how many historical life altering events would occur in this brief time. In 2020, we lost idols such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, and even one of our own marketing professors, Dr. Geraldine Henderson. I was one of the students in Dr. Henderson's final
marketing management class and I remember the excitement I had when I first enrolled. Being given an opportunity to learn from a professor at a Jesuit institution on the graduate level that looks like me is not a common occurrence. While I was only able to have one class with Dr. Henderson, the aura that encompassed her being was infectious.
After my class was made aware of Dr. Henderson's untimely demise by our adjunct professor, Dr. Alexander Krasnikov, we continued to press forward in pursuit of the knowledge that Dr. Henderson had
intended for us to acquire. As professionals, we did just that, we pressed forward and accomplished the goals that we had set for ourselves. In life, the hand that you are dealt does not determine your outcome. However, how you react in moments of adversity will be what defines your journey. As a Black man in pursuit of an MBA, this was emotionally a trying time for myself. Every day I would feel the pain that was being spread throughout my community.
I chose to face the world with strength and composure, however at my core I felt as if my soul was being torn apart. I would be remiss if I didn't speak on the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in major cities around the world, including our own city of Chicago. People of all backgrounds united to place emphasis on our country's unacceptable issue of police brutality against black men and women. Eyes were opened and true colors were shown.
And for those that still choose to turn a blind eye to the unfair treatment of people that look like myself, I pray that the values of the Jesuits rub off on you. They were committed to the promotion of justice and at this point there is no justifiable reason to support the killing of our Black men and women by the hands of the police. The Quinlan community was truly tested during this past year, however we held strong as a family and our strength is a testament to our Jesuit education. A Jesuit education is entirely unique. It is known for its personalized attention and concern for the whole person, mind, body, and spirit. You are developed as a student, competent in your area of study.
However, there is an emphasis placed on ensuring that our students are strong in character and conviction as well. That is where the value in a Jesuit education can be found and this is what sets the Quinlan MBA apart from all other MBA programs. Yes, we took the time to learn the technical skills desired from an MBA, but our graduates are more than a person that can calculate the potential risk within the market. We are the ethical leaders of the future that will help bring about the next era of business, an era of business that will look to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors just as much as we build from their accomplishments, an era of business that will accurately reflect the intellectual diversity within the world, an era of business that will be environmentally conscious, empathetic, and passionately driven. An era of business that we will lead. We are Loyola.
We are Quinlan. We are Ramblers. And we are the graduating Class of 2021. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Thank you. >> IRENE KESELMAN: The most important lesson I've learned at Loyola is that you should not be afraid to embrace the unknown and any challenges that come your way.
You have to trust yourself, the people who are there for you, and challenge yourself to overcome any obstacles, to take leaps of faith and grow as an individual. Turn any challenge into an opportunity. >> KRISTIN NALING: A memory from Loyola that I remember so vividly was when Loyola Men's Basketball Team advanced to the Final Four in 2018. The day that the team advanced to the Final Four, I remember walking throughout campus and seeing everyone jumping with joy and hugging everyone that they passed. I remember seeing and feeling the excitement from all of the students, staff, and faculty.
It was almost as if all of Chicago was cerebrating Loyola's victory. I remember that day that everyone was very proud to be a Rambler. >> BRADY MORRIS: What is my favorite Loyola memory? Well, it's pretty hard to beat the memories I made studying abroad at the at the JFRC and it's hard to pick just one, with all of the weekend trips with friends and living in Rome, having onsite classes around the city. But I'd have to say that my favorite Loyola specific memory was the JFRC study trip that we took to Sicily, traveling around the island and learning its history, and getting to end the trip standing on the stage of an ancient Greek theater carved into a cliff overlooking the Sicilian seashore. That's something I don't think I would have been able to say that I'd done had I not made the decision to come to Loyola four years ago, one of many things and one of the many memories I'm grateful to Loyola for having. >> LISA PORTANOVA: My favorite memory at Loyola is a simple memory.
It's walking into the lobby of Schreiber right before night class and running into my current or former classes. We'd congregate in front of the latest pre-class pizza party for a school organized group, no masks, no worries, just talking about your day and your upcoming class schedule. While remote classes have their perks such as no commute times or pets finally being allowed in the classroom, I will always cherish the memories of those attended in person. And I can't wait to go back and visit and see all of you again. >> JACQUE STEFANIC: To be honest, my favorite Quinlan memory was definitely when we were on campus, but more specifically was being a student worker during the Great Schreiber Takeover in May 2019. Basically a big party inside the Quinlan School of Business for graduates.
It was fun to meet all of the proud graduates, their families, and their professors, along with great food and fun activities for us to do. It was a good time. Everyone had a lot of fun. The best part was going up to the 10th floor of the Schreiber building and looking down to see all of the different floors filled with food, tables, games, activities, and people just talking to each other and having a good time. That was a great time.
>> DEAN KEVIN STEVENS: Thank you to all the students for their wonderful remarks. The Class of 2021 will now be individually recognized for their achievements. Congratulations again to you, the Class of 2021.
On behalf of the Quinlan School of Business, I wish you all the best as you go forth. >> ANNOUNCER: I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Business Administration. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Accountancy.
[Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Business Data Analytics. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Finance. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Human Resources and Employment Relations. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Information Systems and Analytics. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Information Systems Management.
[Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Marketing. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Honors. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting.
[Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Economics. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Entrepreneurship. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Finance.
[Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Human Resource Management. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Information Systems. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration International Business.
[Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Management. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Marketing. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Sport Management. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration Supply Chain Management. [Reading of graduate names] I would now like to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration US/Europe Double Degree.
[Reading of graduate names]