July 13, 2010
Webster University’s Global MBA Class of 2010 Graduates at Ceremonies in Vienna
The second class of the Webster University George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology's one-of-a-kind Global MBA program celebrated its commencement Sunday at Palais Eschenbach in Vienna, Austria.
Webster University President Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, who delivered the commencement address, said, "Using the words of the Webster University mission statement, it has been our goal to provide high quality learning experiences that transform you to achieve individual excellence – your own array of strengths – and at the same time develop a sense of yourself as a citizen of the globe – within this class of Globals and within the world you have inhabited these past 11 months."
Dr. Stroble observed that growing one's own strengths and then contributing those strengths to our community ultimately makes each of us and our community stronger. "I am more than curious about what we will see from you between now and 2015 and beyond – how this year defined your future development. I trust that you will find that reflecting on this past year’s learning in terms of your individual strengths in relation to your leadership of a community has the potential to spur you to your greatest growth and contribution. We at Webster – in St. Louis, in London, in Leiden, in Geneva, in Chengdu, in Vienna, indeed around the globe, are counting on you – for both individual and collective success."
Through Webster University's 11-month Global MBA program, a cohort of 13 full-time graduate students spent nine-week terms at Webster campus locations in five international business capitals: Geneva, Switzerland; Leiden, the Netherlands; London, England; Chengdu, China; and Vienna, Austria. The students studied and shared ideas with current business students at each international campus, gained experiential knowledge by interacting with business professionals at corporate visits, and enhanced their understanding of multicultural business issues.
In his address to the Global MBA graduates, Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of Webster's George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, said, "At the beginning of your graduate career, you all made a resolution: To get an education and earn a degree. You dared to dream with your eyes wide open and you were prepared to pursue your dreams with all your vigor. You set goals with deadlines, because that’s what dreams are – goals with deadlines. That future that you dreamed of is here now."
Dr. Akande went on to pose a provocative challenge: "If your dream does not benefit more than you, then you have dreamed too small," he said. "Our world needs dream weavers – visionaries who put themselves at risk to fulfill the dreams that others are afraid to dream or perhaps just too tired to. While one dream has come true today, you must dare to dream on. I ask that you promise me that you'll do your best dreaming while awake."
Members of the Global MBA Class of 2010 include Peter Nicholas, Ashleigh Christian Bolar and Mary Victoria (Molly) Bytnar, all of St. Louis, Mo.; Casimir Joseph Szapka, Northampton, Pa.; Kyle Noack, Houston; Lesley Diana Taylor Smith, Kansas City, Mo.; Katherine Smolenski, Minnetonka, Minn.; Megan E. Kopff, Bloomington, Ill.; Molly JoAnn McQuillan, Asheville, N.C.; Krystle N. Gomez, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; Jency Hom, New York, N.Y.; Tracy E. Igberaese, Memphis, Tenn.; and Prichard Gibson, Saint Martin, Netherlands Antilles.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education. The University’s Study Abroad programs rank in the top 2 percent of the more than 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed in the "America's Best Colleges" 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Webster is one of just 34 U.S. institutions to share this distinction, which recognizes study abroad programs that involve substantial academic work for credit and considerable interaction with the local culture. The University’s international presence now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.
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