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Posted 6.4.07

Commencement 2007, held on May 20, was a day-long celebration of the university, Weatherhead School, University Circle and success. The day started early with graduates lining up at the Peter B. Lewis Building to join the university-wide procession into the Veale Center for the University Convocation. Graduates were treated to all the pomp and circumstance associated with the Case Western Reserve University Commencement, including bagpiper-led processions, colorful school banners, and naturally, lots of clapping and cheering. After the address by Interim President Gregory Eastwood and convocation speaker author Richard Lederer, the degrees were conferred. Upon completion of the convocation, undergraduate candidates remained seated while the various graduate and professional schools processed out and dispersed for their respective diploma ceremonies.

After returning from the university-wide Convocation Weatherhead graduates were treated to a sumptuous celebration lunch in the Peter B. Lewis Building, followed by the 2007 Weatherhead School awards ceremony. Upon completion of the awards ceremony, graduates were free to introduce friends and family to the University Circle area in the early afternoon.

By mid-afternoon, Weatherhead graduates were robed and waiting in the Horsburgh Gym, where they lined up in proper order, posed for a class photograph, and then began their final procession into the Veale Center amid the clapping, cheers and camera flashes.

Dean Mohan Reddy began the celebrations by welcoming the Weatherhead School graduates, faculty, staff, friends and family. He began his commencement speech with a tribute to Dr. Theodore M. Alfred, former dean of the school (1971-86), who recently passed away. He encouraged the graduates to look for and create opportunities to combine business interests and the social agenda early in their career. Dean Reddy also challenged graduates to remain open to new paths and discoveries in their personal and professional lives.

Outgoing GBSA president and Scott S. Cowen Student Leadership award recipient Lynnette Jackson reflected on the journey and growth opportunities afforded to the Weatherhead School graduates. Using the Wizard of Oz as a business model, she cleverly described how graduates have realized their full potential while in their various programs.

Chuck Fowler, CEO of Fairmount Minerals, gave the Commencement address and shared his thoughts on the benefits of combining business and social responsibility. He noted the success Fairmount Minerals has had after adopting a "do good, do well" philosophy.

Following Fowler's speech, several awards were given out to students and faculty to acknowledge excellence in teaching, scholarship and leadership.

Finally, after much anticipation, the graduates walked. The Weatherhead School embraces a special tradition where graduates are invited to bring family and friends with them as they walk across the stage. While some graduates chose to walk by themselves, many walked with a spouse, friend, or family members. One graduate had his two daughters -- complete with miniature caps and gowns -- in tow, while other graduates walked with their families resplendent in native costumes.

All in all, the Weatherhead School of Management graduation ceremony captured the excitement and pride of its graduates. As this year's graduates transition to alumni and now move forward in their careers and commitment to the school, we wish them the best of luck.

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