Stuart School of Business: Commencement 2021
[LIGHT MUSIC] Hello, I'm Elizabeth Durango-Cohen, M. Zia Hassan Endowed Professor and Associate Professor of Operations Management, Assistant Director of the Marketing Analytics Program, and Stuart Faculty Chair. On behalf of the Board, the Dean, the faculty, and the staff, I extend a warm welcome to all who are celebrating the accomplishments of the Stuart School of Business Graduating Class of 2021.
To the families and close friends of our graduates, thank you for supporting these remarkable students during their years of study. To our graduates, welcome. We have a wonderful ceremony for you. In addition to a message from Stuart's Dean, Dr. John Bilson, you will hear from your fellow graduates and Stuart faculty.
We hope today's ceremony will honor your accomplishment and inspire you to seek out and embrace the opportunities, as well as the challenges, that await you in the next chapter of your lives. I would like to begin our ceremony with a video created from clips and photos submitted by you, our graduates. [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Who gets to graduate in pajamas if not COVID-19 had actually happened? Thank you, IIT, for making my career so memorable.
It has been a wonderful experience for me. And on my final loan to my master's, and as the famous saying goes, So long as your desire to explore is greater than your desire to screw up, you're on the track. Happy graduation, you all! [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Thank you, Illinois Tech, for the wonderful program. And special thanks to Professor Rybak for being a great mentor and a father figure. Congratulations to all the graduates of 2021! [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Thank you to all of our graduates who submitted a video.
It was wonderful to hear about your experiences over the past few years. At this time, I want to recognize the graduates who are members of the global honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. Beta Gamma Sigma is an organization serving business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the AACSB International.
Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest academic recognition a business student can achieve anywhere in the world. These students are indicated with the BGS member logo in the lower left of their slide, and they represent the top academic achievers at Stuart. Congratulations on your achievements! To honor the hard work of each graduate, their names will be presented individually on the following slides.
Graduates had the opportunity to add content to their slide by submitting a photograph, recognitions, awards, and a written statement as part of this recognition. If received, this content is shown along with the graduate's name. [LIGHT MUSIC] [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] Please join me in congratulating our graduates! At this time, I would like to introduce Dr. John Bilson, the John and Mae Calamos Stuart School of Business Dean Endowed Chair, Professor of Finance, and Director of the Master of Science and Finance Program. Dean Bilson has been a member of the Stuart faculty for more than 20 years and has published over 70 academic articles.
Dean Bilson began his academic career at Northwestern University and has held various appointments, including at the University of Melbourne, the International Monetary Fund, the University of Chicago, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, as well as the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Please welcome Dean Bilson! >> As Dean of the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology, I commend the Class of 2021. I would like to join our Faculty Chair Elizabeth Durango-Cohen in offering equal praise to your family and friends for the sacrifices they have made, and for the confidence, love, and support they have shown you.
Graduates, join me in thanking your family and friends, as I know they are very proud of your accomplishments! As a father myself, I too recognize the pride felt by your family and friends. You all have reason to be proud of your association with this great university. We are small, and yet we are associated with some of the most important technological advances of the past century, including cell phones, and more recently, Amazon Alexa. Alumni of this university were instrumental in creating these inventions, which have transformed our modern world. Illinois Tech is also known as the birthplace of modern architecture.
When you look at the City of Chicago, you could see the iconic buildings by Mies van der Rohe and his students. You should be proud of your association with the Stuart School. The school is named after Harold L. Stuart,
who created the Halsey, Stuart financial firm, which was responsible for financing many of the innovative businesses that were started in Chicago. Samuel Insull, who started his business life as Thomas Edison's personal secretary, came to Illinois and created the company that is now known as Commonwealth Edison. Harold Stuart convinced Insull to invest in an elevated transportation system as a way of creating a demand for the power that he was generating.
That system eventually became known as the Chicago Transit Authority. So when you take an L train, always remember Harold Stuart. This history of innovation and technology, which continues today, is the legacy you inherit as graduates of Illinois Tech and the Stuart School of Business.
You now have the opportunity to continue and build on that legacy for future generations of Illinois Tech students and alumni. What will you do with that opportunity? You've learned how to take your knowledge, skills, and creativity, and apply them in the world around you to find innovative solutions to complex problems and to discover new ways of harnessing technology. You've learned the power of teamwork, of bringing people with diverse knowledge, skills, and perspectives together to take on difficult challenges. You've developed your entrepreneurial thinking and can turn ideas into reality.
You understand the importance of effective management and the need to continuously adapt to change. Moreover, look at how you have adapted during this challenging year-- navigating alternative ways of learning, both in the classroom and virtually, juggling your own personal and educational space, and maintaining and growing connections with others. What has impressed us all is how you've handled it with poise, grace, and determination. The world will always need the knowledge, abilities, drive, and energy that you bring as graduates moving into the next chapter of your lives. Graduates of Illinois Tech and the Stuart School have always looked for new opportunities when faced with adversity.
And you have clearly shown that you will too. Finally, I'm going to tell you briefly about three recent graduates and how they leveraged and adapted their education, talents, and experiences in their careers. Maggie Ding has worked with global media, advertising, and marketing agencies. She credits her studies and guidance she received from Stuart faculty and staff. She also credits her mentor Rosemarie Mitchell, Illinois Tech Trustee and Chair of the Stuart Board of Advisors, for helping her begin her career.
Currently, she is working in Chicago as the Associate Director for Analytics and Insights at Spark Foundry. In turn, she has become a mentor to coworkers, and, by participating in career events, with Stuart students. Linxin Wen always dreamed of starting his own business.
While he was a Stuart student, he started delivering food from small mom-and-pop restaurants in Chinatown, and before long, cofounded Chowbus, a third-party food delivery platform. In just five years, Chowbus has grown to operate in dozens of cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. This year, the company raised a total of $63 million in funding from investors to continue fueling its growth. During the pandemic, Linxin and his company stepped up to help the community of small business partners so they could stay open and thrive during tough economic times. Catherine Sanchez was working full-time as a Chicago Police Officer while she was enrolled at Stuart. She said the program was challenging, the courses were relevant, and the faculty had real-world experience.
It was her capstone project that propelled her career as a police officer in an unexpected direction. She researched and developed a new model for police response to individuals in mental health crisis. The model was implemented in the Chicago Police Department's 19th District, and she became the department's first Mental Health Resource Officer. Catherine is now a leader in efforts to improve police interactions with people that have mental illnesses.
These are just a few. We are fortunate to have so many talented, impactful alumni. I look forward to sharing your stories at the future commencements. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Dean Bilson. It is important to take a moment to recognize the unique circumstances of the past year. In the classroom, whether virtual or in person, I have seen many of you help one another adapt to overcome the obstacles of pursuing a higher education degree during the pandemic.
The resilience and perseverance that you have demonstrated over the past year, paired with the academic and professional skills you have learned at Stuart, will serve you well. All of us at Stuart, the faculty and the staff, are very proud of you and we look forward to seeing all that you will accomplish. Now, I would like to give our faculty a moment to share their thoughts. Like today's graduates, Stuart faculty had the opportunity to submit a video to be included in our Commencement Ceremony. Here's what they had to say. [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Hello, this is Dr. Cooper and Professor Van Vliet,
and we want to congratulate the Class of 2021 in whatever degree you happen to be getting. We apologize for the fact that we're not all here in person. And we want you to remember from your past, there's a lot of important equations, but the one we really care about is that the paid bill equals your diploma. Other than that, have a good life. We really hope to see you in the future, and come back on campus and we'll have all the fun that we forgot to have while we were busy with COVID.
>> That's right. Congratulations, everyone! You've worked long and hard to earn your credential. And we know you're going to do great things in the future. And it's been a difficult time to get through with COVID but I really think we're all the stronger for it. And you're going to go out there and have a great career.
And keep in touch because we want to hear about all the great things you're doing out there, all right? Take care everybody! Bye-bye. [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Hi, everyone, congratulations on graduating! This is such a momentous occasion in all of your lives. And while we're not going to be meeting in person, I want to extend my biggest congratulations, but also to tell you how much I've enjoyed having you in my classes, and what a privilege it has been to get to know you. I really love graduation. It's probably one of my favorite events of the year, mostly because I get to meet your parents and I get to tell them how amazing it was to engage with you, to learn from you, and to teach you.
So, as I've said to you in class, please keep in touch. We love to hear from you. I love to hear from students.
And so as your life kind of progresses personally and professionally, keep in touch. It is a great joy to know how you are all doing. Lastly, I want to just mention a few people who have been in my classes who are graduating this year, because it's truly been an honor to get to know you.
So Grace, Madeline, Jessica, Alpha, Adrian, Erik, Jiani, Bhagyashree, Akanksha, Matt, Jay, Aashna, Siyi, Tu, Namitha, Qinglang, Bowen, Mohamed, Hamsini... And I know I'm missing many others, but I want to really congratulate you and to wish you all of the best. Congratulations, everyone! [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Congratulations on graduating from the program. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.
[LIGHT MUSIC] >> Big congratulations to all graduates of 2021... Ziyaada, Mishal, Matthew, Zihan, Daniel, Zhexi, Haider, Camila, Yanfeng, Qingqing, Yuchen, Justin, Yijia, Minjia, Jake, Edward, Jacob, Pattama, Tianziang, Yi, Kangning, and Yilu. Congratulations today! I wish you all big success tomorrow! [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Stuart School of Business Class of 2021, congratulations on your well deserved success! Just remember, grit is all you need to conquer any obstacle and reach your highest potential. [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Heeeeere's Johnny! >> It's a beautiful spring day here in Chicago. Unfortunately, we cannot have an in-person commencement so we're doing it virtually. I'd like to take this opportunity to toast your success.
Unfortunately, it's only iced tea. Commencement is the highlight of the academic year for me. It's when I get to shake your hand as you walk across the stage onward to your new career. I get to meet your parents, your brothers, your sisters, in some cases, your spouses, in some cases, your children, and certainly significant others, people of importance to you.
Much success, take care, be well! [POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE THEME] [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Hey, everyone! Congratulations on your big day, your graduation, moving on from school back to your next journey and destination. I'm Dr. Rob Nelson, you know me from Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Innovation, and it has been my pleasure to work with you. I'm so excited about your future, and you will be a leader and do great things in your communities and in business. And I look forward to it.
Celebrate this day. I'm very sorry we're in this virtual environment, but I got dressed up just for you nonetheless, so I can look a little bit like Harry Potter or somebody from that cast. But congratulations! You've made a major achievement in your life. And I can't wait to see and hear about all the wonderful things that you'll be doing. And we at IIT are proud of you! [LIGHT MUSIC] >> Hi, everybody! Congratulations to the Class of 2021 for making it through one of the most difficult periods in living memory.
As we get out of this pandemic and the economy starts to get back on track, I have no doubt that many of you, if not all of you, will find something really meaningful as a result of the experience that you've had at Illinois Tech. And we look forward to the rest of our lives. [LIGHT MUSIC] >> I would like to congratulate you on your achievement. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Thank you for your commitment to the Stuart School and Illinois Tech, and welcome to the Stuart alumni family. >> Thank you to my colleagues who shared their thoughts. Additionally, I want to say, and I know I speak for our entire faculty and staff, that it's been our privilege to be part of your lives during your time at Stuart. In closing, to everyone watching, I wish you good health.
Now, please join me in congratulating the Stuart School of Business Class of 2021! [LIGHT MUSIC]