Yale SOM Marks 33rd Commencement
For the Yale SOM Class of 2010, Commencement began on the morning of May 24 with a procession into Yales historic Old Campus, with thousands of other graduates from Yale College and other graduate and professional schools. It was a cloudy morning at one point a sprinkle prompted a wave of umbrellas to emerge from the crowd of families and friends but the sky brightened as the ceremony began and soon it was a sunny spring day.
In turn, each of the deans of the schools presented their graduates. Dean Sharon Oster was greeted with a cheer as she made her official request that President Levin grant degrees to Yale SOMs 207 graduates, 185 from the full-time MBA program and 22 from the MBA for Executives: Leadership in Healthcare program. President Levin responded, "By the authority vested in me, I now confer upon you the degree in management as designated by the dean and admit you to all of its rights and responsibilities."
Two hours later, the newly minted MBAs were processing again, this time into Caulkins Courtyard at the Yale SOM campus for the school's Diploma Ceremony.
Dean Oster spoke to the class on the importance of international students at Yale and, more broadly, of immigrants in American society.
"Why does this free flow of human capital across boundaries matter?" she asked. "In our own classrooms, where we emphasize the interplay of disciplinary perspectives and see value in the way these perspectives play off one another, we see as a parallel the huge benefits to all from the broader perspectives that come with insights shared by people from different life experiences. In a world in which innovation is increasingly important, this diversity of experience is likely to play an even larger role in economic growth."
After her remarks, Oster introduced Economies of Scale, a quartet of students John Bourne 10, Paul Jessen 10, Christopher Lewis 10, and Andrew Swick 11 who sang a comic tribute to SOM. Oster then presented the student speakers elected by their classmates: Joel Steinhaus 10, representing the full-time MBA program, and Dr. Christopher Lehrach 10, representing MBA for Executives: Leadership in Healthcare.
Steinhaus declared that the economic crisis and the threat of global warming make this an "SOM moment" to which Yale MBAs are uniquely qualified to respond.
"As the dust settles, the world is looking for new solutions and new leadership," he said. "The global community cries out for leaders who are broad-minded who understand interconnectivity and interdependence and who include all stakeholders in their decision making."
Lehrach also acknowledged the tumult of the last two years, noting that he and his classmates "enjoyed front row seats to the fascinating and terrifying changes that were blazing across the globe" during their time at Yale SOM, and asserted that they had a special responsibility as they returned to the workforce: "I challenge each of us today to take responsible positions of intellectual honesty We must maintain a virtuous disposition to abstain from deception when otherwise incentivized to deceive."
The ceremony concluded with two SOM traditions. First, the graduates rose, turned, and gave a sustained round of applause for the families who had supported them in their studies. Finally, they received their diplomas through "self-graduation," each stepping to a microphone to introduce the student who followed.
Yale SOM Commencement 2010