Brandeis International Business School

Persistence pays off: Celebrating the Class of 2022

At first in-person Commencement in three years, Brandeis International Business School graduates reflect on ‘unprecedented’ journey

Student speaker Ishan Adhikari, MBA’22 addressing the Class of 2022.

Student speaker Ishan Adhikari, MBA’22 addressing the Class of 2022.

Even during the darkest days of the pandemic, Ishan Adhikari, MBA’22 kept his eye trained on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Like many classmates, Adhikari began his studies at Brandeis International Business School by taking classes online. From his home in Kathmandu, Nepal — some 7,300 miles from Waltham — he waited nearly a year to secure a student visa. Then came the long trek to the United States, followed by many long hours pursuing his master’s degree.

It was an adventure filled with challenges, triumphs and uncertainty. And it all culminated this morning on the stage of the Spingold Theater, as Adhikari addressed the Class of 2022 during the International Business School’s first in-person diploma ceremony in three years.

“For most of us, the journey to Brandeis was not an easy one,” said Adhikari. “We all made a choice to come here — a very difficult choice made in one of the most unprecedented, darkest times of this decade. Now that we are here reaping the fruit of our choice, I request that all of us reflect on our persistence.”

In all, 148 International Business School graduates from 29 countries received their diplomas.

The ceremony was a welcome return for many familiar sights and sounds: the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” played by a brass quintet, the beaming grins of graduates as they gripped their diplomas, the ringing of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Experience Kate Goldfield’s gong — a business school tradition and a symbolic marker that the Class of 2022’s time as students had come to an end.

“As new graduates, you have a distinct advantage: You are young and flexible and can see the world as it is,” said Dean Kathryn Graddy. “And make no mistake — the world needs more young leaders like you to take on its biggest challenges, to challenge the status quo and to create innovative solutions that benefit everyone, not just a lucky few.”

David Hodes ’77, the guest speaker and recipient of the 2022 Dean’s Medal for his commitment to the school, spoke about the Jewish tradition of “tikkun olam,” or using one’s gifts to repair the world. Hodes is co-chair of the International Business School’s Board of Advisors and chair of its Global Real Estate Council.

“No one is required to fix the entire world, but everyone is expected to do something to make the world a better place,” said Hodes. “So as you head off today, don’t be surprised to find that life is full of challenges. But do keep in mind that you have overcome so much to reach this point. And rest assured, you are well prepared to meet whatever challenges life deals you. Every day is an opportunity to move forward and be part of the positive change the world desperately needs.”