News at Smith

Spring Commencement Highlights, May 2003

May 23, 2003


Congratulations, Smith School Graduates!


Approximately 1,000 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, May 23, 2003. This includes graduating seniors attending the undergraduate program at the Shady Grove Center, the first class to graduate from the new program. The ceremony was held on campus at the Comcast Center.

Dave Goldfarb '79 with Dean Howard Frank

The Smith School welcomed Dave Goldfarb '79 (left, with Dean Howard Frank), chief financial officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and a member of Lehman Brothers' Executive Committee, as keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony.

"The degrees you're receiving today, everything you've learned in this great university's classrooms, and the relationships you've forged are all extremely beneficial in giving you a leg up," said Goldfarb. "You'll make use of this education every day. But by itself, your education is not enough to ensure success. We all define success differently. Im not talking about money or titles, but something bigger: equating success with doing what you love, making a difference, feeling a real sense of accomplishment."

Whether you are in business, politics, or public service, Goldfarb stressed four characteristics that he believes are key to success: passion, commitment, teamwork, and common sense. He recounted the tragic events of September 11, 2001. "No one will ever forget that day. I was in my office in the World Financial Center, which is across the street from the World Trade Center site, and I witnessed, up close, the terrible tragedy unfold," he said. "Over the next several days, our people re-created our firm, basically from scratch, and we were open for business when the markets re-opened. Our people created full trading floors where there had been only empty cubicles."

Goldfarb joined Lehman Brothers in 1993 as the firms controller. In conjunction with his fellow Executive Committee members, he develops and executes the firms strategic initiatives and business plan to drive disciplined, profitable growth. He is responsible for developing and maintaining strong relationships with Wall Street analysts, bankers, institutional investors, and rating agencies, and for communicating business strategy and operating results to the investment community. He enhanced the financial strength of the firm through building a strong internal control, reporting, and analytical environment. He developed a framework for analyzing business profitability, implemented a strategically focused business planning process, and managed all global corporate accounting and control functions.

Cara Mattison with Associate Dean Cherie ScriccaAlso speaking at the ceremony were graduating business students Cara Mattison (MBA '03) and Johanna Gnall (marketing). Mattison (left, with Associate Dean Cherie Scricca), a cum laude graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, said, "In the Jewish tradition, each person has three names: the name we are given, the name that others call us, and the name we make for ourselves." She said, "I am proud to link my name with yours as a Smith alumna."

Mattison chaired the orientation program for new MBA students in 2002 and served as a vice president of the Graduate Women in Business organization. She has accepted a position as manager for leadership and organizational development with Sunrise Senior Living, a leading provider of assisted living services with operations in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Johanna Gnall with Assistant Dean Patricia ClevelandGnall (left, with Assistant Dean Patricia Cleveland), graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, said, "As we head off in our different directions, some to new jobs, others to graduate school, or even to explore Europe, we can all be assured that we are ready for whatever life challenges and opportunities lie ahead. We are prepared because of our fine education and life-learning experiences here at Maryland a place of rich diversity, constant change, and dynamic people."

Gnall is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and has served as a mentor and tutor in the Maryland English Language Institute. She is a member of Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity and has served on the University Judiciary Committee and the La Plata Residence Hall Council. She is the recipient of a business school scholarship and the Leo Van Munching Jr. Marketing Scholarship. She plans to continue her pro bono work on behalf of the National Parkinsons Patient Registry, a new venture that seeks to identify the environmental causes of Parkinsons disease.

The University of Maryland's campus convocation for all students was held on Thursday, May 22. Franklin Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae, was the commencement speaker.

Download Transcripts [ PDF ]

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 part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, 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.