Brandeis International Business School 2020 Mini Celebration

Descriptive Transcript

[Opening slide with a blue background with Brandeis Seal
Music plays in the background
The text on the slide reads:
Brandeis University
International Business School
Celebrating the Class of 2020]

[Slide shows cheerful Dean Graddy wearing Graduation robe and cap with Brandeis International Business School virtual background]

Dean Kathryn Graddy: Welcome everyone to our first ever virtual graduation celebration. We are here today to toast the Brandeis International Business School Class of 2020. Graduates, your achievements are impressive, your resilience is nothing short of inspiring, and your future is beyond bright.

To the family members and loved ones of our graduates, thank you for joining us. We know how proud you are and we salute you all for helping these wonderful students get to where they are today.

To our faculty and staff, thank you for helping our graduates navigate a semester like no other. It takes a village and your ability throughout this journey, to put our students first, is a testament to what makes Brandeis so special.

To our alumni, friends, and board members, thank you for your ongoing support, and thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the Class of 2020.

And to our distinguished speaker, Alan Hassenfeld, thank you for joining us for what is a historic event, our first online commencement celebration.

Now, let's be honest, this is not how any of us envisioned your big day. I for one did not expect to be in my house wearing my regalia in front of my computer. Nor, I'm sure, did any of you expect to be separated from your classmates as you celebrate such an important occasion? But this pandemic has forced us all to adapt.

The world we share today is different than the one we knew just a few months ago when we were all together on campus. You have been tested like no other class in history and yet you are here, graduating with a master's degree and equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to leave your mark on the world. Graduates of the class of 2020, you make us proud. The future holds great promise for all of you and we at Brandeis are honored to be a part of your story. Just as we are gathering by Zoom today in the face of this pandemic and the dangers it presents, we all have found new opportunities to come together, to innovate and to adapt, and we will continue to do so. I am so proud of how you all stepped up to keep each other safe, engaged, and moving toward your goals. Your acts of kindness, generosity, and ingenuity bring me enormous pride. We are all in this together.

My advice to you is to remain vigilant, be smart, continue taking care of each other and all that will be left of this pandemic is the opportunity in front of you, and the innovation that has resulted. Graduations are a time to celebrate both the achievements of the present and the promise of the future, and I have every confidence that you will go on to achieve great success. But there will be times in your life when the world leaves you humbled. Trust me, this is inevitable. As your dean, I have given my best effort to lead our business school during this challenging time, and just like in any crisis, there are ups and there downs; there are good days and there are bad days. On bad days I can hear the words of Ygritte from Game of Thrones. It was Ygritte who said to Jon Snow, "You know nothing." But that's okay, the world is a complex unpredictable place and at times we all feel like we don't know enough. It's on days like this that I put one foot ahead of the other, or for Game of Thrones fans, the others. I concentrate on doing the things that I know I can get done, and I keep moving forward. I urge you to do the same. I also urge you to rely on your community.

During the very first days of our transition to online classes, a student sent me the nicest note. The students' words continue to inspire me. Here they are, "No matter what happens, we are always together. I love my international business school community and even though I can only see you on Zoom, my heart is always by your side."

Today marks an important transition in your Brandeis career. Your days studying for final exams may be over but now begins your lifetime as a Brandeis alumnus. This is a community of more than 58,000 graduates. They live and work around the world. Their accomplishments are impressive and they are eager to help you find your way. Class of 2020, stay safe, and embrace the opportunities ahead. Be confident that everything you learn in life will prepare you for the future. You are leaving Brandeis International Business School with a potent combination of knowledge, skills, and experiences. The world is waiting and it needs minds like yours now more than ever. Thank you.

[Slide shows Tianyi Zhou, a MSBA student dressed formally using the Brandeis International Business School virtual background]

Tianyi Zhou: Thank you, Dean Graddy. My name is Tianyi Zhou. I'm a member of the Master of Science in Business Analytics, Class of 2020. In 2019, I traveled on a Hassenfeld immersion trip to Israel. Before my trip Israel seemed so far. It has always been a place of intrigue for me and I was so excited to have been selected to go. During my trip, I learned so much about Israeli culture, the ethnic and religious diversity of Israel and most of all, I learned more about myself. I was totally immersed in the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit there. I started my internship at a startup after the trip. My experience in Israel totally prepared and motivated me for that.

Today, it's an honor to introduce our guest speaker, Alan Hassenfeld. Mr. Hassenfeld. Sorry. Mr. Hassenfeld is a retired chairman and chief executive officer At Hasbro. During his 35 years of working at Hasbro, Mr. Hassenfeld helped build a toy company founded by his immigrant grandfather and great uncle into a multibillion-dollar global enterprise. After retiring, Mr. Hassenfeld became the chairman of his family's philanthropic organization, Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, and has focused on improving the lives of children around the world. Mr. Hassenfeld is an ardent supporter of Brandeis and the International Business School. He is a longtime member of the business school's board of advisors and has served as the board's co-chairman since 2013. He's a benefactor of our Hassenfeld Immersion Program and the university's Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center and this spring, the University recognized Mr. Hassenfeld's career accomplishments and contributions to Brandeis by naming him the recipient of a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. Mr. Hassenfeld, thank you so much for joining us today.

[Slide shows Mr. Alan Hassenfeld with a soft toy in his hand]

Mr. Hassenfeld: Tianyi, thank you and above all, congratulations and, social distancing, I'm sending you a big hug. I must say as I was listening to the music earlier, there were tears in my eyes so if I break up a little bit as I'm speaking, forgive me. When I asked Dean Graddy what I should talk about today, she said, "Talk about 15 minutes." She also said, "Do not ask anyone what they're wearing to this Zoom, and Alan, do not stand up." She also said, "Do not mention unpaid parking tickets. Do not mention the bran van. Do not mention Dominic's and food options and price." She also reminded me that very few graduation speakers are memorable, so I should not be insulted if I won't be any different. Lastly, she said, "Above all keep it short. You are what stands between them and their diplomas." Distinguished but exhausted faculty, teary-eyed grandparents and parents, loved ones who deserve a medal of honor for getting you through school, and of course, the impeccable class of 2020, as I anguished over what to say, one message time and time again came through.

Brandeis has given us a sense of home, security, and sharing, service to others, justice, and compassion, this is what Brandeis is all about. Maybe Emerson said it best, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Well, you made it. Doesn't seem like yesterday when you were waiting for your acceptance letter? Remember the thrill and the sense of relief when you learned you were going to Brandeis, what an accomplishment that was. The time has raced by and now here you are two years later. Your academic career at Brandeis is ending and the rest of your life is beginning. To the parents, I know you are experiencing the greatest thrill, the most profound sense of happiness since the day your son or daughter was born. When I graduated a year ago, okay, so it was more like 50 years ago, my mother was beaming. I asked her what were you and dad feeling that day? Was it joy, excitement, pride? She thought for a moment and then said, "It was all of those, dear, plus overwhelming relief. Honestly, we were not sure you would make it."

I suspect you may be feeling some of that same relief as well. None of it was easy but graduates, you have done it. Class of 2020, the degree you received today is nothing more than a ticket, an open ticket without a destination, because you have to fill that in. You can go anywhere and be anything you dare to be. When it came time for me to fill in my ticket, I chose the business world but decided early that I had to be sure to give back, to make as much of a difference as I could, and that is what I want to talk to you about today, giving back, making a difference, and creating a better future for our and your children.

When I left the university with my open ticket, I was proud, outspoken, an independent thinker. I was also more than a little apprehensive, let me say scared, about the road ahead. I had dreams but never imagined they would bring me where I am today. I am fortunate for I dared to dream — and dreams do come true if you are persistent and willing to work hard at making them a reality. And yet I still have many dreams to fulfill, as Robert Frost wrote, "Miles to go before I sleep." Truly, today, we are faced with uncharted waters and the unknown.

The Chinese have a word for crisis. It is [says word in Chinese]. Its two symbols mean danger and opportunity. You and we must seize the moment, seize the opportunity, and not put our heads in the sand. We must create the future by being a part of envisioning it. We must be the catalyst for thoughtful change in all things. What will the new norms be? You, and I repeat, you not I, will be the ones to create these new norms. It will be your world, your new paradigms, but, and with the academic rigor you'll have faced at IBS, this will stand you well, but please have a little patience.

In the new norm, your degree is a ticket to an incredible future but you must help create it. As you go forward into the world, understand that you cannot be myopic; you must be farsighted. Realize that anyone wanting to be a part of the 21st century must understand and link personal and business success with social responsibility. We can never truly enrich ourselves unless we enrich others. What will you give to the world? What will your service be? Certainly, it will evolve from the talents and abilities that are uniquely your own. You can only give from your own talents and resources. So don't look around to see what others are doing, give from the best that is within you. Take a chance and above all be original.

In The Prophet, Gibran wrote, "You give up little when you give up your possessions; it is when you give yourself that you truly give." Except of course during Brandeis capital campaign, then you have to give up your possessions! Dare to dream with me of a world of caring and sharing, a world which is so much a part of Brandeis. But as you leave and embark on this incredible journey called life, do not forget where you came from. Do not forget your parents, your professors, or your friends. Don't forget the people who made a difference for you. So much of what drives me to try to make a difference and just speak out on various issues come from the inspiration of others.

One of the more poignant thoughts that are forever etched before me is the starfish story attributed to Lauren Isley, and I quote, Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like the dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day, so he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man, and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead, he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it back into the ocean. As he got closer, he called out "good morning, what are you doing?" The young man paused to look up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." I asked, "Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I don't throw them in, they'll die." "But young man don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along with it? You can't possibly make a difference." The young man listened politely then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, and said, "It made a difference for that one." There is something very special in each and every one of us.

[Telephone rings in the background]

Mr. Hassenfeld: We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference, and if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our vision the power to shape the future. We must each throw our starfish and if we throw our starfish wisely and well, the world will be blessed. For me this became a motivator against being complacent. Do not be silent. If you believe in something, speak up for if not you, then who will speak up against injustice and intolerance? If not you, then who will help any of the thousands of worthy causes that desperately need help? Do not expect others to lead if you are not willing. Outside this graduation ceremony, there is a world in which you will have the potential to lead over 275 different lives, make a difference with yours. You can be anything and everything you choose to be. You are unlimited as your imagination, so take your ticket and as you go on this incredible trip into the future, vow to make a difference, care about others and give up yourself.

Finally, maybe in closing, let me thank our dean, Katy Graddy, and her incomparable team for caring and never sleeping. Let me thank the university under the leadership of Ron and Lisa. Above all, let me think Lan Xu, a trustee and advisory board member, who has set up an emergency fund to help students complete their education when they and their families are facing adversity. That fund stands at over $100,000 already, and we will endeavor to grow that number. Thank you my fellow classmates of 2020 and congratulations. To our mentor, Doctor Professor Peter Petri, thank you for your vision. And lastly, thank you to our board of advisors, chaired by David Hodes for their sage advice, what a wonderful team. And again my class, thank you for letting me be part of your class. With that, I'm going to turn it over to Linda. Linda?

[Slide shows Linda in her study]

Linda Bui: Alan, as always, thank you for your words of wisdom, and your reminder that we should be brave, we should be resilient, and we should be kind. All of us truly appreciate your strong leadership on the board of advisors and we are also grateful for your unwavering support of the International Business School.

To begin, I would like to announce the recipients of this year's excellence in teaching awards, awards that are based on student recognition of our faculty and their contributions in the classroom. The winner of this year's Part-time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award goes to Eric Schumann. Eric brings nearly two decades of experience leading the business consulting and recruiting firm, Global Atlantic Partners LLC, in Boston. Prior to that, he worked for Fleet Bank, formerly Fleet Boston, representing the bank all over the world. He has been teaching as an adjunct professor at the business school for 14 years.

The winner of this year's Full-time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award goes to Blake LeBaron. Blake is the Abram L. and Thelma Sachar Professor of International Economics. Not only is he an accomplished teacher, but he's also recognized as a true pioneer in the field of agent-based modeling. Blake even has a statistical relation, the relationship between volatility and serial correlation in stock markets named after him as the LeBaron effect.

Congratulations to both Eric and Blake on their awards. Next, I would like to congratulate our three PhD recipients, Mike Munsell, Wai Jai, and Shuran Zhang. From your first micro theory class with me through all of your classwork, your general exams, your field exams, and your dissertation, you've made it out the other end. This is an important milestone in your lives and we're delighted to share it with you. Congratulations on your accomplishments and thank you for all that you've contributed to our school in your teaching, your research, and your participation. We are grateful that you're a part of our community and we wish you all the best in your future.

Now here are the Class of 2020 Academic Award recipients. Our first recipient for the MA Program Award for Academic Excellence is Jiawei Zhang. Jiawei completed his studies in December in partnership with Zhejiang University. He was a conscientious, hard-working student who dedicated his time to his studies while being a TA for econometrics and actively participating in the American Football Club.

Our second recipient for the MA Program Award for Academic Excellence is Keyu Jin. Keyu Jin is an incredibly diligent and hardworking student. She was the TA for business dynamics and investments and truly a joy to work with. Congratulations, Keyu Jin.

Our first recipient for the MBA Program Prize for Excellence in Business Leadership goes to Federico Lederman. Not only was Federico an academically strong student, but he was constantly looking to challenge and better himself, a trait we all admire in the MBA program. He showed his support of the MBA program in many ways, in particular as an admission ambassador, where he represented the program to prospective and admitted students. He also made significant contributions to the business school's chapter of alpha, serving as both the VP of Operations and President in the most recent semester.

The second recipient for the MBA Program Prize for Excellence in Business Leadership goes to Yang Zhang. Yaya has made significant contributions to the business school and to the MBA program specifically. She has demonstrated leadership as IBSSA vice president during the 2019 term, where she represented the business school students and increased communication between IBSSA and the student clubs. Yaya also served as a teaching assistant for many courses and did all this while being successful in her academics. Congratulations to all of you for your accomplishments. Now I'd like to give the floor to my esteemed colleague, Kate Goldfield.

[Slide shows Kate with a blue virtual background with flags of different countries in it]

Kate Goldfield: Thank you, Linda. It is now my great pleasure to present the Community Awards to our student leaders. First up, Morris Nadjar. Morris is a BA/MA, who has shown ongoing initiative, leadership, and dedication since he started as an undergraduate at Brandeis. He became involved in the business school community early on as an international business scholar and student assistant at the business school technology desk. As a BA/MA mentor, he tirelessly promoted the MA program to Brandeis undergraduates and has been a regular attendee at school-wide events. Congratulations to you, Maurice, and your friends and family.

Next up, Tal Richtman, MA, Class of 2020. Tal is a BA/MA and international business scholar who has brought his distinct style of leadership from the undergraduate community to the business school. He used his skills and talent for organizing people to devise the highly successful MA Concentration Night, the first official International Business School Shabbat dinner, and the real estate track to New York City. Congratulations to you Tal and again, mazel tov to you and your friends and family.

Next up, Elidaurys Martinez Catano, also Class of 2020. Ellie, as she is commonly referred to, has engaged with the community very early into her academic career at the business school. She's made a lasting impact with first-year students as a leadership fellow, she was selected as a Hassenfeld fellow and traveled to Israel, was active in several committees for the 2019 Global Gala. She worked with the ISSO as vice president of the Brandeis Fulbright chapter, was involved in the IM Global week, the list goes on and on, the Global Bazaar, and assisted with the organization of the very highly successful MA Concentration Night. Our best congratulations to you, Ellie, and to your family.

Last but certainly not least is Paavna Suresh, MBA. Paavna Suresh is being recognized for her contributions to the business school community. She was active in many business school clubs and took on various leadership roles. She served as co-president of the South Asian Society, vice president of the International Business Women's Club and communications officer for the Data Analytics Club. Our sincere congratulations to all our community award winners. And now it is my pleasure to introduce Federico Lederman, who will introduce our student speaker.

[Slide shows Federico Lederman, an MBA graduate student with the Brandeis International Business School cafeteria virtual background]

Federico Lederman: Thank you Kate, thank you so much. Hello, my name is Federico Lederman. I'm a member of the Master of Business Administration Class of 2020. I would like to introduce our student speaker, a leader in our community. Ebube Iheme always has a smile on his face. He works hard with his peers, faculty, and staff to make Brandeis International Business School a warm and welcoming community. For that, we are all honored to have him on this year's student speaker.

[Slide shows Ebube Iheme, Student speaker with Congratulations Class of 2020 written on the background wall]

Ebube Iheme: Thank you, Federico. So to the class of 2020, families, and friends from around the world, I say hello from the other side of this digital divide. By now we've all Zoom called more than 1000 times as we continue to recover from the whiplash that is COVID-19. And it was while wrestling with the abrupt nature of the current pandemic that I remembered the quote by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, "the only constant in life is change," and realized how difficult this can be to accept. The past three months have been a difficult time for everyone and I'd especially like to take time to recognize the loss and disappointment our class faced as we said hasty goodbyes to close friends and classmates, saw anticipated graduation ceremonies canceled and began grappling with the anxieties of heading into a bleak job market. I'd also like to acknowledge with a moment of silence the opportunities, health, and lives lost during this pandemic. Thank you. Nevertheless, in the midst of uncertainty, we have also seen selfless and difficult acts of service from people and organizations across the world that have saved lives, slowed the spread of the disease, and significantly reduced societal costs.

To our class, these actions should remind us and encourage us that we too can rise to the challenge during this time, because navigating change is actually something most of us are already familiar with. How do I know this? Well, let me jog your memory. The year was 2018, the season, Fall, the destination, Waltham, Massachusetts, and the goal, graduate school. We all led family and friends in different parts of the world to gather here virtually for a new phase of life. And although this transition was planned, it still required flexibility, openness, and a positive mindset, all of which are vital skills for adapting to change. Then, despite a sometimes overwhelming course load, extra-curricular commitments, plain old procrastination, upon other responsibilities and challenges, were all able to adapt and excel, creating a home away from home in the process.

Now what this period of cultural adjustment reveals to me is grit and resilience in the face of change, skills we developed as we spent another hour calmly trying to understand why our Python code wasn't working. As we sat through another info session wondering when the free food will show up, as we convinced ourselves that bran van was still just around the corner and as we wondered if another follow-up email to an alum made us sound desperate for a job, we may not have always been successful at these tasks but we definitely grew by embracing the challenge.

So going forward, the question we need to ask ourselves when we ultimately encounter a change in the future, is how we will respond, will we similarly embrace it, or resist it? And I admit that embracing change is much easier said than done, but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to learn how, especially since we know change is inevitable in life. So with your continued indulgence, I'd like to use this speech to share some thoughts and insights on how we all can best prepare for change as our class makes one of life's greatest transitions today. Are you ready? I'll take silence as a yes.

First, during times of uncertainty, we must pause and remind ourselves that all is well. This catchphrase was featured in a very popular Indian film, "Three Idiots," and emphasizes the importance of positive self-talk as a response to stress. In fact, psychologists have actually found that our reactions to stress rather than stress itself have a greater impact on our overall health and success. So whenever we find ourselves encountering stress during difficult times of change in the future, we must pause and remember that how we choose to respond to matters more than the underlying emotion.

Second, we must find our anchors. In our applied macroeconomics class, shout out to Professor Osler, we learned that a nominal anchor is a monetary policy tool that helps constrain inflation and promote monetary stability. Now, what this macro factor alludes to is the importance of having solid support during times of change, whether this is your faith, family, friends, feline companions, or all the above and more, our support groups are essential in helping us embrace new opportunities while remaining resilient.

Third, we need to take the time to reflect and re-strategize. During periods of change, we're often able to take a break from our usual schedule, creating space for us to finally learn that instrument or re-consider working remotely.

Psychologists have also found that this goal setting behavior also instrumental and an important determinant of long term success. Therefore, our class, we must realize that change grants us a unique opportunity to appreciate our past successes, recognize areas of improvement, and develop healthy strategies that get us to and through the next stage of our lives. Next, we must finish well to start strong. At this point in our Netflix-filled quarantine saga, we've probably seen TV shows that initially captivate us with great storytelling and innovative character arcs, only to fizzle out for a couple of less than stellar episodes or seasons. Similarly, during some of life's more sudden transitions, we may find ourselves wondering how best to salvage a once-promising job, project, or relationship. However, it's important that we note that handling this period in a healthy and proactive way is actually key to gaining the closure that we need to begin the next phase of life on a proper footing.

Finally, we should always pay it forward. During this pandemic, there has been an outpouring of support to the at-risk and most vulnerable members of our communities. At Brandeis, for example, alumni and other community members raised over $400,000 to support students during their sudden off-campus transition in March. Likewise, as soon-to-be-alumni of Brandeis, we all as a class should aspire to serve others in and through seasons of uncertainty in whatever capacity we find ourselves after graduation. As the author, Sharon Salzberg aptly quotes, "Resilience is based on compassion for ourselves and for others."

So to conclude my time, I'd like to, first of all, recognize the faculty and staff with a special shout out to all my past managers at the International Business School for their investment in our growth and success during our time here. We appreciate the classes, events, advice, and connections you all have given to help facilitate our transition into the real world. I'd also like to thank our family and friends for supporting us as we invested in our future with a special shout out to my parents back home in Nigeria, and my family and friends around the world.

And to the Class of 2020, congratulations once again on all your hard work and your many, many achievements. It has been my honor to learn, struggle, laugh, fail, triumph, and journey with you during these past two years. You all are an inspiration, and I expect nothing but the best from you as we embark on this next phase of life. So, yes, I guess the only constant in life is change, but now we are not alarmed to hearing this. As we change our status today from students to soon-to-be-working professionals, and as we watch the world change and heal from this current crisis, let us remember that all is well, to find our anchor, to reflect, finish strong and always pace forward. Life may get messy so ensure you all continue to wash your hands. Thank you very much for listening. Over to you, Shane.

[Slide shows Shane with another beautiful Brandeis International Business School virtual background]

Shane Dunn: Thank you, Ebube for your inspirational comments and leadership. It's crazy how you and your peers have persevered through an incredible amount of change during your time at Brandeis. I have enjoyed getting to know you and wish you all the best.

And with that, hello graduates of the Class of 2020, parents, families, friends, colleagues, and Mr. Alan Hassenfeld. My name is Shane Dunn, and I'm Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Brandeis International Business School, speaking to you from Boston. On behalf of all of us at the business school, congratulations on your achievements and for making it to this special day, wherever you are. I recognize the circumstances today are not what you anticipated when you first joined our community one or two years ago, let alone three months ago. You may also be experiencing some grief about not having a typical commencement ceremony this year. Those feelings are valid, and yet they do not diminish the work you have done to influence this community during your time in Waltham.

Brandeis is a special place and you should be proud of your collective accomplishments. I have the privilege of talking to and working with alumni of our school, dating back to its first graduating class in 1989. They're doing impressive unique things in every corner of the globe. You are joining more than 4,000 Business School alumni in more than 120 countries and more than 58,000 Brandeis University Alumni around the world who work and volunteer in an array of industries and organizations. This is your network. I encourage you to remember that your connection to Brandeis outlasts your time on campus, or even studying remotely, by multiple decades. It's lifelong, and the university will be here for you forever. Before the end of this week, be on the lookout for an email from me with some early resources and reminders and look for future communications about ways to stay connected. Although the current situation is certainly scary and uncertain, research has shown that people who join the labor force in recessions are actually happier in the long term, as they tend to focus on what is good about their jobs and are therefore more grateful for the jobs they hold and for the people they work with.

Today, I want to wish you much personal and professional happiness wherever you land. One alumnus of ours in New York City asked me to remind you to be patient and stay the course as you weather all types of storms and challenges throughout your personal and professional lives.

In closing, remember that you are part of the Brandeis community forever and I encourage you to find ways to cultivate communities that enrich you. Please give back to Brandeis in ways that make you feel good and bring you joy. Mentor and respond to requests from current students, strengthen our alumni community, keep in touch with faculty and staff, and support the school financially. Please reach out to any of us at the business school at any time to learn how to remain connected and involved. We are here for you.

Congratulations, and thank you, Class of 2020. Welcome to the Brandeis Alumni Community and please keep making us proud. It is now my honor to turn it back over to Dean Katy Graddy.

[Slide shows Dean Graddy in Graduation robes with Brandeis International Business School virtual background]

Dean Graddy: Thank you, Shane. What an important reminder for our graduates that your connection to Brandeis is lifelong. We are nearing the end of our virtual celebration, although we do have a few items left in our program. First, I would like to thank Alan Hassenfeld for his inspiring speech. As is traditional for our commencement speaker, he is this year's recipient of the Dean's medal, our highest honor and the Brandeis International Business School, and I cannot think of a more deserving recipient. Thank you, Alan. Now, before we proceed, I would once again like to congratulate the Brandeis International Business School Class of 2020.

[A huge round of applause]

Dean Graddy: Graduates, your hard work, your talent, and your determination inspire us all and we all cannot wait to see you succeed. We are now going to wrap up our celebration today with a video message from our faculty and staff. But first, it's time for the gong. I'm going to invite Kate Goldfield back for a moment. The ringing of the gong is a tradition that started at the International Business School many, many years ago. It all began when a visiting delegation from Thailand gave a gong to our founding dean, Peter Petri, as a gift, and ever since we use the gong to ring on our special occasions. So here's to the Class of 2020. Take it away, Kate.

[Slide shows Kate wearing headgear and ringing the traditional gong]

Kate: Thank you so much, Dean Graddy. Thank you to all our participants today, to our speakers, to our guests, to our students, to our families and while I clearly heard the message that had to do with being flexible and change, I hope that you'll indulge me and allow that there are just a few rituals that we're not going to change. So if you give me one moment, I'm going to get my special headgear on. I know you can't necessarily see it as well as if we were in person, but hopefully, you'll come back to campus next year and you'll see it all. And the other thing that I'm gonna do is I'm going to stand back so that I don't make too much deafening noise when I gong the gong. And let me also just remind, even though our students know that just as our Dean said, we gong our gong to celebrate special occasions and events, to make sure that we each realize how important we are and the contributions that we make to our community. So I'm going to count to three, and then I'm going to gong and I'm gonna pretend that you're standing and cheering and clapping. Here we go. Are you ready? 1,2,3 Congratulations to all.

[Slide with a blue background with background music. The text of the slide reads:
Brandeis International Business School

[Slide shows a woman in the graduation robes]

Judith Dean: Hi, Class of 2020.

Man: Hi Class of 2020.

Ida: Hi everybody, Ida here. Congratulations to the Class of 2020.

[Slide shows Career Coach Alice with two very cute dogs]

Alice: Congratulations Brandeis Class of 2020, you did it.

[Slide shows Career Coach Jennifer Voldins wearing a blue Brandeis Hoodie and raising a toast]

Jennifer Voldins: Congratulations Class of 2020. You have inspired us with your resilience, flexibility, kindness, intelligence, and sense of humor.

Natalie: I'm so proud of you. It has been so much fun.

Prof. Grace Zimmerman: This may not be the culmination of your Brandeis experience that you hope for, but none of us will ever forget it or this crazy time that we've all experienced.

Julie Miller: Brandeis International Business School is a place that was always cool
but when our Class of 2020 enrolled, our school transformed into solid gold.
From India to the DR, from China to the U.S.,
our new graduates are simply the best.
And while you didn't know Julie could drop a rhyme,
I'm sending my very best wishes at this very special time.

[Slide shows Marcia Katz wearing a Brandeis International Business School Tshirt with World Ready written on the back of it]

Marcia: Congratulations, Brandeis International Business School, Class of 2020. You are now world ready.

Frank: And as you embark on your career, don't forget about your network and your interpersonal skills. They'll always be major drivers to your career success. We'll be here to help you every step along the way and we know you'll do great things.

George: All our graduates, congratulations on completing your degrees under such challenging circumstances.

Karen Muise: Good luck in all your future endeavors, best wishes to you all.

Judith Dean: I wish you the best in all your new adventures. Hats off.

Prof.: Congratulations Class of 2020.

Anna Shur Wilson: Congratulations Class of 2020.

Hagit Weihs: Congratulations Class of 2020.

[Slide shows Prof. Ebert wearing Graduation robes and congratulating the graduates with her family]

Jane Ebert: Congratulations graduates of 2020.

Meredith: Congratulations to the Class of 2020, we will very much miss you at the business school.

Prof.: A toast to you grads, congrats on all your hard work, we're so proud of you.

Geri Brehm: We look forward to hearing about all your great successes and remember, we're always here for you.

Prof.: We will really, really miss you. Congratulations Class of 2020 and please stay in touch.

[Ending Slide with a blue background with music playing in the background
The text on the slide reads:
Congratulations Class of 2020
Brandeis International Business School
Copyright 2020 Brandeis International Business School. All Rights Reserved]