As always, this year’s commencement was a wonderful morning of celebrating the newest members of the Kogod alumni community. It was my privilege to address the graduates, their families, President Kerwin, and all others in attendance.
Below is a video of my graduation speech. Some highlights are:
- Recognizing retiring Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert Thompson (0:45)
- Addressing accomplishments of MBA graduate Tim Richards and his ReefCam project (1:58)
- My charge to the new graduates (4:02)
Recently I’ve been meeting with some of the bright new faces who have decided to attend American University to study business in the fall. I’m proud to report that our incoming freshman class is a very talented group. They’ve already accomplished a lot—and they’re excited to set foot on campus as full-fledged freshmen.
We’re also seeing strong interest in our new BS in Finance undergraduate program. The more technical, more mathematical nature of the program definitely appeals to a cadre of prospective students.
I believe one of the reasons these students are choosing to study business here at AU is that there is strong value in an education that includes a broad liberal arts background but also prepares them for the world of work. Our students recognize that a business degree is a good investment in their future.
And the job market for young graduates is also showing renewed strength. We see that nationally—with figures from the National Associate of Colleges and Employers. As a story on our website indicated, this is the second consecutive year in which employers have adjusted their hiring expectations upward, with 2012 hiring projections even higher than initial reports suggested.
We’re also seeing it “on the ground” here at Kogod. The full-time positions and summer internships that our students have lined up already are quite impressive—on both the undergraduate and graduate sides—and we know there is more good news to come.
For example, one of our graduating seniors, Brian Berry, will shortly be in Seattle at Amazon’s headquarters, where the company is hiring recent graduates for a retail management program. He’ll be doing vendor and inventory management and pricing strategies. Jessica Mouras, an accounting student, had her pick of firms and chose Ernst & Young, where she’ll start in October as a staff auditor after she sits for the CPA exam this summer.
There are plenty more examples, but I’ll be brief for now. You can learn about the rest as we cover them proudly on our website over the summer. Congratulations to Brian, Jessica, and all our soon-to-be graduates. I wish everyone best of luck and an excellent summer.