• Undergraduate student speaker Raffy Maristela
  • Commencement 2017
  • Commencement 2017
  • Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer speaks at commencement 2017
  • Students celebrate at commencement
  • Graduate student speaker Nicholas Kirvida
  • 2017 commencement keynote speaker Eric Jing

The Carlson School of Management celebrated the achievements of more than 1,400 graduates at commencement ceremonies Monday at Mariucci Arena.

This year’s graduating class included:

“Whether you use the degree you have earned from the Carlson School to pursue a career in business, start your own company, lead a nonprofit, or pursue further studies,” Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer told the graduates, “it will undoubtedly help you see business as a force for good, and position you to create a better tomorrow.”

“Think of all you have been given, everything from your health to your careers. Now you’ve been given a world-class education.”

— Nicholas Kirvida, ’17 VEMBA, graduate student speaker

This year’s keynote speaker, Eric Jing, ’05 CHEMBA and the CEO of Ant Financial Services Group, talked about how his experience in the Carlson Executive MBA–China Program (CHEMBA) inspired him to help others.

“For me, the measure of success is not money. It is whether I have enabled others to reach their dreams and to live fuller and more rewarding lives,” said Jing, who closed by advising the graduates to “go out, follow your heart and empower others in the years to come.”

Student achievement awards

Several undergraduate students garnered special recognition.

Melanie Vossberg received the Tomato Can Loving Cup Award, the school’s highest honor for an undergraduate student. Michael Bringgold, Adam Gajewski, and Ryan Olstad won the Academic Excellence Award as the school’s highest-ranking undergraduates scholastically.

Jenifer Smith was named a community engagement scholar, a designation earned by completing nine credits of service-learning coursework, 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 Thesis Award, given to the best undergraduate honors thesis, went to Sofia Terzic for "The Investor Wears Prada.” The Carlson Global Institute Thesis Award, awarded to the thesis that best contributes to a deeper understanding of global business, went to Anna Mirkin for “Setting the Daddy Track: An Evaluation of Paternity Leave Policy Development.”

Additional thesis award nominees were Hailee Gifford, Will Kraft, Elias Lee, Raffy Maristela, and Konnor Slaats. All nominated students developed innovative thesis projects and demonstrated great initiative, professionalism, and independent thinking throughout their projects.

“Doing things on your own doesn’t always equate to being the most talented, and not asking for help doesn’t mean you’re the smartest person in the room.”

— Raffy Maristela, ’17 BSB, undergraduate student speaker

 To watch the full ceremonies, click here for Undergraduate Commencement and click here for Graduate Commencement.