John Stumpf Speaking at Commencement Ceremony

New Grads and Seasoned Alumni Imagine the Future of Business at Commencement

Friday, May 29, 2015



"Golden Gopher humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less."

Those were the wonderful words of our distinguished alumnus and Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf. John delivered them at last week’s commencement when explaining the incredible success our alumni have had reaching the top of some of country’s largest companies. I encourage to you take the time to watch his keynote and heed his advice. John’s personal story of how learning and education enabled him to become the leader of the world’s most valuable bank stands as proof that there is nothing a Carlson School graduate can’t accomplish.

While you’re at it, I would also recommend viewing our Undergraduate student speaker’s address. John Reichl explored three fundamental truths about business that were printed in an 1891 copy of “The Business Guide” handed down from his great-grandfather. John’s words help remind us all how business can, and should, be a force for the good. I found the following passage especially powerful. 

“Since my little book here was published, the rise of the legitimacy of business as a discipline combined with the industrial revolution allowed 1 billion people on our planet to achieve a state of economic self-determinism, a fundamental human right. That may seem quite significant, and it is. But consider this. By the time our careers are over in 2060 (that’s kind of scary, isn’t it?) demographers put the number of people in the world somewhere between 8 and 9 billion. The implication is clear. There are still 7 billion people who cannot call themselves self-determinant, in an economic sense. Business touches everyone in some way: It will be the fruits of our labors, whether it’s the finance people creating efficient markets, the MIS folks creating global networks, or the marketers getting products to the people who need them the most, that will begin to decrease the magnitude of that number. That’s a weighty charge, and a humbling call to service.”

We truly have amazing students at the Carlson School and I couldn’t be more pleased to see that others are taking note. During the commencement ceremonies, we received word that two of our Full-Time MBA graduates, Tim O’Neil and Alyssa Callister, were named among the 50 best and brightest of 2015 by Poets & Quants. Congratulations to Alyssa, Tim, and all of our graduates. I couldn’t be more proud of what you have accomplished and look forward to all that you will achieve as Carlson School alumni.