Brandeis International Business School

Celebrating the Class of 2024: ‘May the spirit of Brandeis guide us’

International Business School graduates reflect on their personal journeys, urged to build their careers through innovation and compassion

Brandeis International Business School students line up at Commencement.

Brandeis International Business School graduates at Brandeis University’s 73rd Commencement on May 19, 2024.

It’s a day Djounia Saint-Fleurant, MBA’24 will never forget.

On June 27, 2022, the Fulbright scholar enrolled at Brandeis International Business School after receiving additional scholarship support.

Twenty-three months later, on May 17, 2024, Saint-Fleurant stood before her fellow graduates and described how that moment changed her life.

“Grateful beyond words, I made a silent promise to give my best to Brandeis,” she told the Class of 2024. “This experience has been my guiding light, sustaining me through challenges and triumphs. Brandeis became a symbol of hope and resilience, shaping me into a person filled with gratitude and confidence.”

Saint-Fleurant addressed her classmates, professors, family and friends at the International Business School’s annual graduation ceremony. Two days later, 178 business school graduates from 29 countries received their diplomas at Brandeis University’s Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.

Growing up in Haiti, Saint-Fleurant said that her father inspired her to leverage education as a tool for building a better life. She lauded the parents in attendance as “our unwavering champions and the silent architects of our success.”

In addition to mastering topics at Brandeis like data analytics, econometrics and corporate finance, Saint-Fleurant said the Class of 2024 pushed themselves to become more confident, resilient and open-minded — skills that will serve them well not only in their careers but throughout their lives.

“Let’s go forth and conquer the world, one innovative idea, one compassionate act — and for those of us going into consulting or investment banking — one caffeinated beverage at a time,” she said. “May the spirit of Brandeis guide us on our journey ahead. Let’s go and show the world what a Brandeis International Business School alumnus can do!”

After commending graduates for their academic and career accomplishments, Dean Kathryn Graddy officially welcomed them to the Brandeis alumni community.

“The broader Brandeis alumni community includes over 60,000 people living, working and giving back in every corner of the world,” said Graddy. “Your connection to Brandeis is lifelong. Remember the people who made your experience here memorable. Keep in touch with fellow students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

Six International Business School students were honored with academic and community awards at the graduation ceremony.

Maria Mercedes Garcia Fagalde, MA’24, Tshering Dhendup, MA’24 and Shipeng Ji, MA’24 received the Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MA) Program Award for Academic Excellence, while Peter Thabet, MBA’24 and Marisa Lala, MBA’24 received the Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program Prize for Excellence in Business Leadership. Yiqing “Sarah” Wang, MBA’24 received the Kate Goldfield Community Leadership Award.

Graddy also presented the 2024 Dean’s Medal to B. Reuben Auspitz ’69.

A graduate of Brandeis University and a longtime member of the International Business School’s Board of Advisors, Auspitz is a key architect of the school’s India Initiative, which seeks to facilitate collaboration and cultural understanding between the United States and India through student scholarships and academic partnerships.

Auspitz is the retired vice chairman of the investment firm Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc. He is also the co-founder of, an intellectual property and innovation management company that has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence for more than 20 years with clients including IBM and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Addressing the Class of 2024, Auspitz said the future of AI will reshape how humanity learns and works. Of particular importance, he said, is “democratizing access to the tools of innovation around the world,” so the benefits are shared as widely as possible.

“The impact of AI is unpredictable but the outlines of its favorable use are clear,” said Auspitz. “It’s not just on the horizon. It’s already in use.”

On May 21, Thabet, winner of the MBA Program Prize for Excellence in Business Leadership, delivered the graduate student address at Brandeis University’s 73rd Commencement.

“Our presence here today celebrates more than just our individual hard work and success,” said Thabet. “It is also a tribute to the collective spirit and enduring principles that Brandeis University has stood for since its inception.

“With a heart full of gratitude and a mind inspired by years of learning and growth, I stand before you today feeling blessed, honored, hopeful, excited and overwhelmed. Here’s to our future, filled with endless possibilities and the promise of a better world, shaped by the values and principles we have cherished at Brandeis.”