On May 19, more than 601 undergraduate and 720 graduate students earned their degrees from the Carlson School of Management. In addition, five PhD degrees in business administration were awarded. The commencement ceremonies celebrated the class's hard work and inspired the graduates to look forward to the future.

The keynote speaker was Thomas Staggs ('82 BSB), chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Staggs' speech focused on the importance of tempering humility with self confidence, a combination that he said is crucial to both professional and personal life success and happiness. He also told the graduates that his wish is for them to find careers that constantly inspire them.

"Walt Disney, with his countless accomplishments, said the most rewarding part of his job was the smile on a child's face. My wish for you is that you find a career that constantly inspires you and gives you satisfaction," he says.

The Class of 2014 received congratulatory remarks from Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer, who donned mouse ears in Staggs' honor. Undergraduate students applauded a speech by Austin Hermann, and graduate students enjoyed a presentation from MBA grad Kevin Krueger.

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Achievement Awards
The Academic Excellence Award, given to the highest academically ranked undergraduate senior, was awarded to William Rice. The Tomato Can Loving Cup Award, the school's highest honor to an undergraduate student, was presented to Katherine Schmalz.

Cecilia Marri Fung was named a community engagement scholar. This designation is earned by students who complete nine credits of service-learning course work, at least 400 hours of community service, a series of reflective pieces, and an integrative community project that results in the creation of a sustainable project for a community organization.

The Dean's award for best undergraduate honors theses went to Taylor Crowl for "Home is Where My Investments Reside: How Do Initial Public Offerings Affect the Local Real Estate Market?" The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) Award went to Zachary Prebeck for "Perception of Key Stakeholder Groups Associated with the Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in the United States." The CIBER Award is for the thesis that best contributes to a deeper understanding of global business or demonstrates implications for firms operating in a global environment. Laura Grosdidier was an additional nominee.

Commencement 2014 Photos

Keynote Speaker Thomas Staggs Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer Katherine Schmalz wins the Tomato Can award speaking at the 2014 commencement ceremony military veteran receiving diploma commencement excitement families celebrate graduates