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Commencement 2016

Brandeis International Business School graduates urged to transform global challenges into opportunities for impact

2016 Graduates

May 22, 2016

Brandeis International Business School (IBS) honored 196 members of the Class of 2016 at its 22nd annual diploma ceremony on Sunday, May 22. The graduates, who span several degree programs and represent 45 countries, gathered in Levin Ballroom with faculty, staff, and friends and family from around the world to celebrate their achievements and hear words of inspiration from keynote speaker Leonard Asper ’86.

Asper was the recipient of this year’s Dean’s Medal, an honor bestowed annually upon an individual who embodies the core values of the business school. Asper, the CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and founder of the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Brandeis IBS, shared advice with the eager graduates, encouraging them to maintain connections with their peers and remain curious about the world despite challenges that may arise.

“When you are first put in a situation out of your comfort zone, the easiest thing to do is turn back,” said Asper. “A good university will challenge a person, test their will, make them question their dogma, and force them to ask themselves who they really are. Time after time in life you will experience these challenges, and Brandeis will have truly prepared you for that.”

Echoing Asper’s sentiment was selected student speaker Denisse Delgado, MA ’16. She arrived at Brandeis IBS from Mexico two years ago, and in her speech, expressed gratitude to the business school for helping her to develop the skills, conviction and sense of self needed to succeed in the world.  

“The day I arrived at Brandeis IBS was the day that I started discovering myself. I realized that everything I knew wasn’t all there was to know – that I needed to be open to learning from new people and new cultures,” she said. “Don’t expect to have your entire future figured out now,” she advised. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Keep looking and don’t settle for less than you’re worth.”

Dean Bruce Magid congratulated the graduates on becoming World Ready leaders capable of affecting change in the industries and communities that matter most to them. “You are ready to make a difference in the work you do and to do good for society,” said Magid. “Embrace life and all of its opportunities: You are ready to take on the world.”

Adjunct Professor David Lundgren, and one of this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipients, encouraged graduates to push themselves in a quickly changing world. “Don’t let your circumstances define who you are,” he said. “We will wait and see what you, the most ethnically diverse and educated generation in history will accomplish in exciting fields like biotech, green technology, robotics and automation, virtual reality, 3D printing, bitcoin and so much more.”

Jimmy Vulembera, MBA ’16 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was selected by his peers as the recipient of this year’s Student Leadership Award. At the conclusion of the business school’s diploma ceremony, Vulembera proudly led the Class of 2016 in their march to Gosman Sports and Convocation Center for the University’s commencement ceremony.