It feels great to have made it through the MMS program, and finally join another wonderful alumni network. Watching everyone file past in their robes during graduation made me extremely proud of my classmates and what we’ve accomplished in the last 10 months. It’s been an amazing ride, and I’ll truly treasure the memories I’ve made here, both inside the classroom and out. We’ve already begun planning trips and reunions to help us keep in touch with one another! I look forward to a lifetime of friendships with the great people I’ve met here. Go MMS 2012! The third time really is the charm. 🙂

class gift presentation
The MMS Class Gift is presented to Dean Bill Boulding during graduation. Thanks to everyone who participated in the gift!

A big part of the graduation ceremony was the presentation of the class gift, which was given to Dean Bill Boulding by three members of the Annual Giving Committee — Obinna Arizor, Crystal Luo and Devon Bostock. This year’s theme was “All Hands on Deck,” and focused on encouraging class-wide participation in the gift. The class gift effort is largely a student-led initiative. With 78% participation, this year’s class gift totaled an impressive $3,340.84. For all that Fuqua has given to us, it felt great to give something back to the school.

As an incoming or prospective student, the concept of a class gift may seem abstract to you, but it actually ties quite strongly to your Fuqua experience. Proceeds from the class gift go toward funding faculty research, and other resources at Fuqua. Plus, once you graduate, it helps to fund alumni services and benefits.

The class gift presentation was just one example of all the hard work that we’ve put into the program. All in all, graduation was a great experience — a wonderful reward for everything we’ve gone through. And I felt honored to have been chosen by my classmates to speak to them in one last, official capacity during graduation — it was a bitter sweet moment for me.

As I move on, I offer some thoughts to the incoming MMS class of 2013: as you begin the next phase of your lives, I wish you the best of luck. It’ll be an awesome ride, which may seem impossible at times, but don’t give up — it’s well worth the effort. It’s important to decide what you want your degree to do for you, and you’ll begin to see yourself transform before you even graduate.