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Class of 2014 Urged to Work Hard, Take Risks and Dream Big in Journey through Life and Career

May 11, 2014
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“What’s important is the journey…it’s not how much money you make, it’s not the titles you have, it’s the journey,” said Ambassador Charles Cobb in offering advice for a successful life and career to graduating School of Business seniors during their spring commencement May 9.  Cobb, who served as assistant secretary and undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland, among other positions, said hard work and discipline are particularly important ingredients for a successful journey.

“Hard work and passion are critical, not only in your first job, but every job,” said Cobb to the more than 400 seniors who shared commencement with those from the School of Engineering.

Cobb, a longtime UM trustee, also stressed the importance of participating in public service, spending time with family, perseverance, dreaming big, and taking risks.

“It might be a financial risk, it might be a reputation risk, it might be a promotion risk, but you [must] take the risk. There’s not advancement without risk,” said Cobb.

25 different countries were represented by the nearly 125 graduating MBA students.

The business undergraduates were joined by nearly 125 School of Business graduate students awarded diplomas this spring, with the School’s MBA students representing 25 countries. The graduate student ceremony, held the day before the School’s undergraduate ceremony, was notable for featuring perhaps the first commencement speaker to dole out advice while playing the piano. Shelton G. “Shelly” Berg, the dean of the Frost School of Music told the students that music is the “mortar of humanity” and that Burt Bacharach “is the key to life’' because he could subsume his prowess or chops for his inspiration and intent.

Playing chords and reciting verses from “Alfie,” Berg said the Bacharach song that was written for the eponymous movie about a man who was good only at seducing woman got it right when it said, “Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.”

“Today is your day, graduates,” said Berg. “You are taking your walk. Here’s what the lyrics to Alfie say: ‘When you walk let your heart lead the way; you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.’”

MBA Commencement Video
MBA Commencement Photos
MBA Awards Photos

Undergraduate Commencement Video
Undergraduate Commencement Photos
Undergraduate Commencement Awards
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