Hundreds of Smith School students joined their families and friends in celebration at the schools winter commencement ceremony, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2001. Approximately 287 students applied for bachelors degrees, 78 for masters degrees, and six for Ph.Ds. A couple dozen August graduates also participated in the Smith School ceremony, held in Cole Student Activities Building.
The guest speaker was Christopher Kubasik, 83 (magna cum laude accounting), senior vice president and chief financial officer for Lockheed Martin Corp. Kubasik was appointed to his current position early this year and is responsible for all aspects of the corporations financial strategies, processes, and operations. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he spent 17 years with Ernst & Young, in a variety of positions, being named partner in 1996.
Graduating with high honors in finance and marketing, Carla Tagliente (pictured right with Assistant Dean Pat Cleveland) was the student speaker. From Cortland, NY, Tagliente has been a star student and athlete at the University of Maryland. She has been a member of the University of Maryland and the U.S. national field hockey teams since 1997, winning numerous national and collegiate field hockey awards. With a GPA of 3.98, she was honored by NCAA Academic All-America each year, 1997 2000. Her immediate plans after graduation are to go to South Africa for two months to play with the U.S. National Field Hockey Team in a World Cup qualifying tournament. Her long-range plans include getting a graduate degree and/or a career with the FBI or CIA.
During the ceremony, the Smith School awarded posthumous MBA degrees in the names of Michael Scott Lamana and Eric Cranford, who were killed in the September 11th Pentagon attack. The diplomas were dated September 11, 2001. Lamana, 31, and Cranford, 32, were part-time MBA students at the Smith School. Lamana was supposed to graduate with his MBA degree this month. Cranford was halfway through the MBA program. Lamanas wife, Lorna, was at the commencement ceremony to accept her husbands diploma. His sister, Danielle, was also in attendance.
In addition to awarding posthumous degrees, the Smith School has created the Michael Scott Lamana & Eric Cranford Memorial MBA Fellowship Fund, which will provide fellowship awards for two Smith MBA students each year, beginning next fall. The Smith School held a fundraiser earlier this month and sent a fundraising letter to 4,000 Smith School alumni - an effort that has already raised nearly $17,000.