The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business celebrated its winter graduates in a virtual commencement ceremony on Sunday.
During the ceremony, which followed the university’s main commencement event, 203 undergraduate students, 70 MBA students and 339 business master’s students were recognized for the completion of their degrees. Additionally, 47 students celebrated finishing the Online MBA, six the Online Master of Science in Business Administration, and 41 the Executive MBA.
Maryland Smith Interim Dean Ritu Agarwal kicked off the ceremony with introductory remarks in which she expressed the pride that graduates should have in their accomplishments and excitement for what’s next.
“The occasion of your commencement is a time to celebrate journeys – to celebrate beginnings
and endings and all the amazing things that happen in between,” said Agarwal. “Today we will look back on your journey and look forward to your future.”
During the event, three students – one undergraduate and two graduate students – also offered remarks. Eitan Isser delivered this year’s undergraduate address, while Charlie Size from the Part-Time MBA program and Wei-Hsuan (Vivy) Hung, graduating with a Master of Science in Marketing Analytics, represented graduate students.
Each student reminisced about experiences at Maryland Smith and imparted lessons learned throughout their academic careers. Size, specifically, spoke about changing his pronouns while at Maryland Smith and how his fears of rejection were extinguished thanks to support and encouragement from the community. That inclusivity, he says, is incredibly important not just for students, but everyone within the Maryland Smith community, and it’s up to graduates to maintain that outlook as they embark on their professional careers.
“Remember that we are part of a powerful Terp network, with diversity of thought and experience,” said Size. “Leverage that diversity while you are climbing ladders, and always remember that inclusion is the important act of reaching your hand back down that ladder to pull someone else up.”
Prior to the event, students had the opportunity to download digital photo frames, social media profile frames and covers, as well as GIFs, and printable signs. They could also take part in the festivities by tagging #UMDSmithGrad in their posts and were encouraged to enter the graduation cap contest.
Graduating students can also expect to receive a package early next year commemorating their graduation and time at Maryland Smith.
In her closing remarks, Agarwal noted the difficulties and sacrifices necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of countless obstacles, these graduates persevered and now are ready to take on new challenges.
“It is with great hope and optimism that we at the Smith School send you out into the world,” said Agarwal. “You are strong, and you are courageous, and despite the difficulties ahead of us, I know you will lead accomplished and fulfilling lives.”