Top News / April 5, 2024

The 31st Annual William D. Bradford Banquet Celebrates Diversity and Community at the Smith School

Robert H. Smith School Celebrates Diversity and Excellence at 31st William D. Bradford Banquet
Diverse excellence shines at the William D. Bradford Banquet as winners of the Spirit of Excellence Awards, Yaye Sene, MBA ’25 and Wilburn “Chance” Logan, MBA ’24, pose with attendees, embodying inclusivity and achievement at the Smith School.

All photos in this news article by Jodon Visuals.

For 31 years, the Black and Latin MBA Associations of the Robert H. Smith School of Business have proudly hosted the annual William D. Bradford Banquet. This year’s event, held on February 29, 2024, celebrated diversity, equity, inclusion and community at Smith under the theme of fostering allyship and unity across all backgrounds.

The event is named for Dr. William D. Bradford, the first African-American Chairman of the Department of Finance at Smith and the first African-American Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the business school.

Spirit of Excellence Awards were given to two students, Yaye Sene, MBA ’25 and Wilburn “Chance” Logan, MBA ’24, as well as two faculty members, Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning Nicole Coomber and Dean’s Professor of Management Science and Operations Management Tunay Tunca. Awardees are recognized for embracing the values of DEI and actively contributing to creating an atmosphere of excellence within the Smith community.

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George Bradford speaks at the William D. Bradford Banquet, advocating for ambition and inclusivity.
Kerry-Ann Stimpson and Zeta Smith lead a discussion on allyship and career advocacy at the Bradford Banquet.
Smith School Dean Prabhudev Konana with banquet guests.
Yaye Sene, Nicole Coomber, Chance Logan, and other attendees celebrate diversity and excellence at the Bradford Banquet.

A panel discussion featuring distinguished alumni Kerry-Ann Stimpson, MBA ’01, and Zeta Smith ’91 stressed the significance of having allies within DEI and the importance of someone advocating for you as you navigate through your career who doesn’t look exactly like you.

Stimpson is currently leading the marketing efforts at JMMB Group and is also the producer and host of “The Internal Marketing Podcast”, where she advocates for internal marketing strategies to empower employees as brand ambassadors. Smith is the CEO, U.S. Senior Living and Interim CEO North America Healthcare & Senior Living with Sodexo. Her career has spanned three global Fortune 200 companies including ExxonMobil, Starbucks and currently, Sodexo.

Members of Dr. Bradford’s family were also in attendance at the banquet. George Bradford ’97 and his wife Kristie Curameng Bradford, MBA ’05, encouraged the audience to be ambitious with career goals and to create and foster an inclusive community while at the Smith School.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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