Fall Commencement invites students to look ahead as well as back.

Fall Commencement took place during two ceremonies on December 19, 2006. In the afternoon, undergraduates from the Landon School, with the exception of the School of Accounting, received their diplomas. The Chapman Graduate School and the School of Accounting ceremony took place in the evening. Approximately 766 undergraduate students and 221 graduate students were awarded their degrees.

Executive Dean of the college and Vice Provost, FIU Online, Joyce J. Elam, spoke at both ceremonies.

“It’s no wonder that recruiters, both locally and from national and multinational firms, value you so much: not only for your business knowledge, but also for your maturity, strong work ethic, leadership qualities, and ability to juggle multiple tasks,” she said.

In addition to many other words of praise for their achievements as individuals and as members of student organizations, she also reviewed the impressive rankings the business school has garnered and the national press attention focused on the college, summarized the construction progress on the new building complex, and urged them to become active alumni.

“Help us keep the momentum going as we explore together new ways to realize our dreams—as a business school and as individuals who are committed to excellence,” she said.

C. Delano Gray instructor, School of Accounting, addressed the afternoon assembly, during which Nicholas Bustle (MS ’88), president, SunTrust Bank, an active supporter of the college’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Luncheon, received the Florida International University Medallion–Outstanding Alumnus.

At the evening ceremony, Alvaro G. de Molina, CFO, Bank of America, and a member of the Dean’s Council, received the Cal Covens Distinguished Community Service Medallion. Chapman School José de la Torre presented the students for their master’s and doctoral degrees, and Dean Elam presented the School of Accounting graduates.

Deanne Butchey, instructor, Department of Finance, was a banner marshal for the afternoon event, and Clark Wheatley, associate professor, School of Accounting; and Kaushik Dutta, assistant professor, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, performed that function during the evening event.

Tent party tradition continues.

In December, 2005, graduates were treated to the first-ever on-site, post-graduation party—the brainchild of the two student members of the Business Alumni Chapter’s Board of Directors. The event was such a success that the Office of Alumni and Partner Relations decided to continue it. In December, 2006, the newest graduates had the chance to celebrate and learn the next role they can play in their relationship with the college: as alumni.

“After the afternoon ceremony, our new alumni came to the tent, where they enjoyed refreshments and music while visiting vendor booths to purchase graduation shirts, diploma frames, and graduation rings,” said Zoe H. Leal, special events manager, alumni and partner relations, who coordinated the event. “There also was a booth where proud family members could purchase flowers, gifts, and balloons for their graduates.”

The FIU Alumni Association and the Business Alumni Chapter each had a table to encourage the newest alumni to become members. Recent graduates can join both for a special rate of $10.

In addition, the college had a table with a model of the new building complex.

“We shared information about the building—whose opening is scheduled for October, 2007—and explained how alumni can leave a permanent legacy by purchasing a star on the Wall of Stars, a prominent feature in Commons Hall,” Leal said.

“I am very proud of graduating from the college,” said Felipe Estevan Batlle, a second-generation graduate of the business school who majored in finance and real estate and who hadn’t planned to walk till the last minute. “I am glad I decided to walk. The experience was amazing.”

Management major Margarette Pierre praised her experiences.

“Coming to the college enhanced my knowledge in a field that I love,” she said. “I’m planning to go to law school and on applying everything I have learned here.”

Throughout the year, the Business Alumni Chapter hosts professional development lectures, a CEO speaker series, and networking events.

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