‘Resilient’ Class of 2021 Honored at In-Person Commencement Ceremonies
Monday, May 17, 2021
After a year away, the Carlson School’s commencement ceremonies returned to 3M Arena at Mariucci on May 16 and 17. Though it looked a little different, the usual pomp and circumstance filled the arena. Proud families and friends cheered from the stands as students walked across the stage, becoming Carlson School alumni.
“With everything that has been thrown your way, especially in the past year, each of you has displayed significant resilience, adaptability, strength, and even courage to continue moving yourselves and your community forward,” Dean Sri Zaheer said. “Being a graduate of the Class of 2021 will always carry a special significance that you will wear as a badge of honor for the rest of your lives.”
This year’s graduating class included:
- 846 undergraduates receiving Bachelor of Science in Business degrees.
- 628 graduate students from 12 programs, including Full-Time, Part-Time, Online, and Executive MBA; Global Executive MBA (both China and Vienna); Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations; Master of Business Taxation; Master of Accountancy; Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Finance, and Master of Science in Supply Chain Management.
- 14 doctoral students receiving PhD degrees in business administration.
The optional in-person ceremonies for the Class of 2021 were split into five separate ceremonies across two days, all following federal, state of Minnesota, and University COVID-19 guidelines for indoor events. The Class of 2020 also had an in-person event on May 16.
Masters Degree and PhD Candidate Ceremonies
The first two in-person ceremonies awarded degrees to graduate and PhD students. Those in attendance heard from selected student speaker Yauheniya (Jane) Hochhalter, ‘21 MAcc, who shared her story about coming to America 14 years ago, with just $1,000 and a suitcase. Now a U.S. citizen and masters degree graduate, she strongly believes “education is a key to freedom.”
The following day, May 17, the Undergraduate Program hosted three commencement ceremonies. Selected student speaker Jael Kerandi, ‘21 BSB, encouraged her classmates to continually pursue greatness.
“We will not walk out of here and immediately achieve all the success that we ever dreamed of, but that is OK because success is not measured on a timeline,” Kerandi, a former student body president, current representative to the Board of Regents and Carlson Ambassador, said. “Greatness is not achieved overnight, but rather greatness is achieved daily. Greatness is not a description, it is an action.”
In-Person Ceremony Held to Honor 2020 Graduates
Along with honoring its 2021 graduates, the Carlson School also held an in-person ceremony on May 16 for Class of 2020 graduates. Last year, the Carlson School hosted its first virtual commencement in May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunday evening, about 150 alumni across the school’s Undergraduate, MBA, Specialty Master’s, and PhD programs gathered for a celebration they weren’t able to have last year. Many students and their families were overjoyed about the opportunity to finally walk across the stage. See what some of them told KMSP-TV (Fox 9) in a news story that aired on May 16.