On Thursday, December 20, 2012, thousands gathered in the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland at the commencement ceremony of the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business to celebrate the achievements of students graduating with degrees at all levels in business (BS, MS, MBA, PhD).
Keynote Speaker Barry Gossett, Chairman, Acton Mobile Industries
The keynote speaker was Barry Gossett, who is chairman of Baltimore-based Acton Mobile Industries, suppliers of mobile offices, construction trailers and commercial modular buildings. Gossett is a very active member of the University of Maryland community and currently serves as chairman of the University System of Maryland Foundation and as the vice chair of the USM Foundation Board of Regents.
Gossett encouraged graduates "... to find something that excites your business and intellectual passion, something to stir your inner thoughts, something that makes you giddy – so much so it infects those around you! This may take time. Don’t be in hurry because what may be your ambition today may not be your vocation tomorrow."
Gossett's speech centered on five points of advice: (1) fall in love, (2) build relationships - don't do deals, (3) manage your debt, (4) use technology - don't let it use you, and (5) give back.
"Staying part of the university will enhance your success and believe me the more successful the university becomes a greater value is ascribed your degree," said Gossett. "Now that I have retired from business, I receive great satisfaction from helping and teaching others, investing in philanthropic activities with time, experience and financial support. It’s more rewarding than you can imagine - it truly rewards the heart."
Student Speakers Matya Magnezi and Eitan Naftali
Undergraduate student speaker Matya Magnezi encouraged students to give something back and make a difference. She gave a heartwarming account of Robert H. and Clarice Smith's passion for giving back, as told to her by her professor, Gerald Suarez. The first in her family to graduate with a college degree, Magnezi is sure to make an impact, herself.
The speech by MBA student speaker Eitan Naftali had a theme of endurance. "My fellow graduates, we are crossing the finish line today, as a result of our strong support system, and because of our ability to work hard and to endure the rigorous challenges of the Smith School experience," said Naftali. "After today this race will be over and the next chapter in our lives will begin. And the important question we now have to answer is, 'What will we do with the Smith School experience starting tomorrow?'”
Naftali encouraged students to find the next race in their lives that will challenge them professionally and to keep in touch with each other.
Congratulations, Class of 2012!
“Every member of the Smith community is very proud of your achievements,” said Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam to the graduates. “We wish you well on the journey ahead, and I look forward to hearing many good reports of your successes in the years to come.”
Special congratulations to the following graduates who received their doctoral degrees:
- Scott Benjamin
- Jing Gao
- Anupama K. Kothari
- Hyoryung Nam
- Kiran Panchamgam
National Anthem Performer:
- Jake Irwin, graduating senior